We Asked Bernie Die-Hards Inside Their Philly Tent City: “What Now?”

“This movement is the future, and we are the future—and we’re coming in hot.”

 

Tents were being disassembled. Buttons and signs, stacked and packed away. A protester strummed a final, whimsical song. Several dozen bleary-eyed Bernie Sanders die-hards were preparing to head home on Thursday afternoon. Many had been camping out for days in Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, not far from the Wells Fargo Center, where delegates met this week to nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate.

Anger over party politics and Clinton’s nomination lingered. But Sanders’ supporters also vowed to fight on, to carry the revolution back to their hometowns, and to continue to campaign for third-party candidates. Many said they were switching their support to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.

“This movement is the future, and we are the future—and we’re coming in hot,” said Chelsea Piner, a 29-year-old brewer in Detroit. “We’re not lacking enthusiasm, and I think the whole world can see that.”

All the campers I spoke to agreed that Clinton and Donald Trump were essentially equally bad. Philadelphia local Jesse Ilnicki, 35, who described himself as “just another weird dude who gives a fuck,” put it this way: “We’re up against two oligarchic demons fornicating with each other, and then expecting us to pick one over the other when they’re both fucking prostitutes.”

Wearing a T-shirt that read, “Over the Hill Hippies for Bernie,” 63-year-old Arja Moy agreed: “Hillary is even more dangerous.”

 

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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