The Democratic National Convention begins Monday in Philadelphia. As the party finishes last-minute preparations, protesters also are getting ready.
The city has approved 28 permits for rallies and marches. Name a cause and you can bet a protest for it is planned. Applicants range from an anti-gay church to the group “Black Men for Bernie.”
To stand out, you have to be creative. That’s why Cheri Honkala with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is gathering cases of donated beans in her office. She plans to feed them to protesters on the last night of the convention when Hillary Clinton accepts her party’s nomination.
You could say her protest plan is a real gas.
“We thought that this process really stinks,” Honkala says. “So we decided to organize a national fart-in.” She doesn’t like that only two political parties dominate American politics.
Most of the protest permits are held by people who wanted Bernie Sanders to become president.
Billy Taylor is a Sanders supporter who secured four of the six permits available for a park across from the arena where Democrats will meet.
Taylor works out of a run-down warehouse outside Philadelphia. “Bernie for President” signs are everywhere. Originally, volunteers wanted this to be a local Sanders campaign office, but now it houses a new group called Philly.fyi.
Taylor is the group’s executive director. When he heard the city would make protest permits in the park available on a first-come-first-served basis, he booked everything possible — just in case the Sanders campaign wanted them.