Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jeffrey Eide (ND delegation)
Jill Yordy (AK delegation)
Representatives from all 57 progressive delegations are available for comment, please contact:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 27, 2016 ­­­­­

Coalition of 57 Democratic Party delegations commend police response to peaceful direct action following nomination of Hillary Clinton

Highlighting the unity facade of the DNC, Sanders supporters walked out of the convention hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday, occupying the media tent, concerned their motivations and continued involvement in the Democratic Party have been misrepresented by the media. Delegations supporting Bernie Sanders chose the media tent to discuss with reporters the continued exodus from the Democratic Party and its impact on local and national elections in their home states.

Police quickly responded to the area after the group approached the media, and quickly set up precautions to maintain safety and order. Police allowed the liaisons and spokesperson Shyla Nelson, who earlier seconded the nomination on stage at the Democratic National Convention, to explain the frustration and discuss the future of the Democratic Party. Officers blocked doors to the media tent in an effort to contain the unexpected crowd, but as interviews took place and mediators explained their goals to the officers, the situation diffused and credentialed members were allowed to peacefully return to the convention hall to support a Black Lives Matter effort on the convention floor.

A North Dakotan co­organizer with the Coalition of 57, Jeffrey Eide, thanked police by saying, “I cannot express more gratitude regarding the professionalism and courtesy extended to the coalition of 57 and every Bernie Sanders delegate. Philadelphia should be immensely proud of the extraordinary police force and their commitment to keeping the peace.” No violence, injuries, or arrests occurred on Tuesday related to the occupy the media event. This was a first step towards organic unity and authentic dialogue that moves away from the scripted narrative that Sanders supporters have experienced this week.

In interviews, long­time Democratic Party progressive insiders expressed their frustration with the DNC for not putting more effort into welcoming the longtime­Democratic Sanders supporters and passionate newcomers into their ranks. “There’s a perception that Hillary has squandered an opportunity to embrace progressive Sander’s supporters by making a VP pick that is not representative of the integrity that we crave. Instead her pick is underwhelming and trends towards a centrist mentality,” says Jill Yordy, an Alaskan co­organizer with the Coalition of 57.

E­mails released by Wikileaks last week show the Democratic National Committee under the leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz intentionally manipulating the media to discourage Sanders' supporters and dilute the traction of their grievances. Schultz resigned on Sunday from the DNC and was quickly hired by the Clinton campaign as the “honorary chair” of the 50 State program. “The call to unity, while noble, is only unity when all voices are heard, recognized, and there is a meaningful dialogue. By and large, the feeling among Sanders’ delegates and among Sanders’ supporters is that the Clinton campaign has simply not done enough to open the doors to empower the voices of the grassroots,” said Shyla Nelson of Vermont, “The system itself is failing the American people.”

Representatives of the Coalition of 57 as well as individual contacts from each delegation are available for comment through media contacts on this media advisory.