PHILADELPHIA—On Monday afternoon, hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters, members of the media, and a few conservative trolls, converged in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall to protest a primary race that’s already been won.
Off to one side of the building, a group of protesters huddled around a small, black portable speaker held in the air by a confident woman, listening to a Sanders speech—either the one he was giving concurrently to a group of delegates, or one that he had given in the past that they had recorded for posterity.
It is, if you haven’t heard, fucking hot here, and the pores of the people I bumped into had succumbed to the conditions, and stank powerfully of body odor, dirt, and weed, turning the area into a highly-unsanitary stone oven. After 30 minutes of doing Journalism, I was shaking and dripping wet like I’ve never been in public before. Also there: The giant joint, several unfortunate dogs, the requisite nice guy giving out free hugs, which I gently declined.
Most notable was the way the message of Sanders supporters seems to have unironically merged with conservative and Trumpian tropes. I saw signs reading, “Hillary Rotten Clinton,” “Crooked Hillary, Criminal-in-Chief” (an obvious invocation of Trump’s favorite nickname), and “The Clintons are super predators that must be brought to Hell.” According to New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel, protesters cheered as an InfoWars truck emblazoned with “Hillary for Prison 2016" rolled by.
If it hadn’t been for the baby blue Bernie t-shirts, it might not have been clear who or what this rally was for.
“We have just one message for the one percent,” an organizer said before the crowd started marching towards Broad Street. “We did not start this class warfare, but we will finish it.”
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Crooked Hillary has got to go!” they chanted as they walked away.
Watch our Facebook Live from the rally here: