Home > Uncategorized > DNC in Philly Day 3 – Loathing and Dissipation At FDR Park “Philly Awakening”

DNC in Philly Day 3 – Loathing and Dissipation At FDR Park “Philly Awakening”

Restrained mood and dwindling number of protesters reflect deep disappointments

Loathing For All Things Clinton and DNC


Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving, you don’t need us ~~~ “Wooden Ships” (Crosby Stills & Nash – 1968)

[Update: 7/28/16 – hahahaha! I just learned that at exactly the same time I was sweating my balls off on my bicycle in the heat down at FDR Park looking for activists and ideas, the “Socialist Convergence” was meeting in downtown Philly with a panel that included Chris Hedges and Jill Stein – watch panel discussion  Viva La Revolution!~~~ end update]

I made it to FDR Park on Sunday with the Bernie March, but got food poisoning and had to hit the road. I was still wiped out on Monday and on Tuesday I did a Jill Stein event across from City Hall at the JFK Boulevard plaza site.

So today, after stopping by City Hall and finding no protests, I finally got back to that place to see how the hard core Bernie folks were holding up in their Occupy style encampment, called the “Philly Awakening”. The FDR Park is just across the street from the DNC Convention site at the Wells Fargo Center.

My first impression – politics aside – was how absolutely lovely the FDR Park is:



The second was the overwhelming police security perimeter and the third was all those SEPTA buses parked in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center doing absolutely nothing.

As I toured the park, I saw 3 or 4 small pockets of neatly maintained encampments, maybe 25-30 tents at each site, and a general ambiance of joyful engagement with zero police presence.



I had a few conversations with the activists, mostly about why Clinton and the Democrats were so bad and corrupt – and a muted, largely unstated, but deep disappointment in Bernie’s fold.

"madness is that way"

“madness is that way”

If my dog had better behavior, I would have loved to have camped there and enjoyed lengthy conversations with the young folks there.


The people I spoke to were all politically astute and had no use for traditional party politics and corruption.

Their values were virtually the opposite of traditional politics: they demanded open, honest, compassionate communications and a commitment to altruism and saving the world from various catastrophe’s. But the issues were somewhat quirky (anti-GMO and vaccine views were dominant)


The mostly young folks – although I spoke with a few fellow geezers – seemed to have similar values to the Hippies I felt an allegiance to growing up, but seemed more sophisticated and politically aware.


A Bernie Sanders delegate from California spoke to the small crowd and explained all the dirty tricks, threats, and convention floor efforts to stop the Bernie delegates from protests, displaying signs, or booing.

At around 3 pm, a concert began, and I was told that Jill Stein was scheduled to speak –


But by 4 pm there was no mention of Stein, so after a long day and 20 miles on the bike, so I headed north for the Ben Franklin Bridge to Camden and the NJT Riverline.

I left with a profound sadness that I still can’t shake right now as I write this. This camper’s signs pretty much sum it up, politically:



ps – I could be completely wrong in my assessment of dissipation and low participation, but not in the feeling of disappointment. I visited in the afternoon of a sweltering day, so people may have been elsewhere. Still, I don’t think so. But on the ride out, I did notice several folks headed down Broad Street towards the park, so maybe it will rock tonight.

Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading in the news and it sure looks bad
They won’t give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had ~~~ “California” Joni Mitchell

[Update #2 – 7/28/16 – Looks like things did rock last night]

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