Bernie Sanders is pleading with supporters not to disrupt the proceedings of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia tonight. "I ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest on the floor. It's of utmost important you explain this to your delegates," Sanders wrote in a text message. The request is meant to mitigate the anger of Sanders supporters who feel the entire nomination process was biased against him.
Leaked DNC emails released by WikiLeaks last week suggested an organized effort to aid presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned as a result. The entire affair has created an air of animosity at the convention between establishment Democrats and Sanders supporters, who now appear to be acting against the will of the Vermont senator. In some instances, Sanders supporters are using the same lines of attack used to disparage Clinton at the Republican National Convention last week, including calls to imprison the candidate for her use of a private email server.
"This is a real world we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue."
When speaking to supporters earlier today, Sanders received collective boos from hundreds of attendees. The protest drowned out his speech in which he tried to articulate why voters would have to support Clinton to stop Republican nominee Donald Trump. "This is a real world we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue," Sanders told the crowd. "Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign."
According to Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin, Sanders' campaign has reached out to Clinton's to warn them of a potential demonstration designed to disrupt the DNC tonight. Sanders is slated to give the final keynote address at the Wells Fargo Center later today.
The effort to prevent protests is extending to email as well. In an message sent to delegates today, Sanders' campaign wrote, "Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays," according to The Washington Post. Here's the email in full:
Dear Bernie 2016 Delegate,
Thank you so much for your efforts on the campaign and your hard work to advance the political revolution. We have accomplished much. Much more needs to be done.
The political revolution is not about one election or one candidate. It is about transforming America and continuing the fight for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We have to continue to work together to advance the progressive future we all support.
During this convention you represent not just the 13.3 million who voted for our campaign. You also represent the future of our movement.
I am asking all of us to bear that in mind while we are on the floor of the convention. Our credibility as a movement will be damaged by booing, turning of backs, walking out or other similar displays. That's what the corporate media wants. That's what Donald Trump wants. But that's not what will expand the progressive movement in this country.
I know everyone is frustrated, especially by the recent DNC email disclosures. But, as a result of this disclosure Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign. This is a very positive sign.
We have made great progress in the last year. Let's continue going forward.
I would ask you as a personal courtesy to me to not engage in any kind of protest or demonstration on the convention floor.