News & Politics

Protests at DNC criticize policing and militarism

Lindsay Schubiner • Jul 29, 2016
DNC protest for justice for Berta Cáceres. Source: @julito77
DNC protest for justice for Berta Cáceres. Source: @julito77

DNC protests highlight the devastating impacts of deportations, racist policing, and military interventions abroad—and call for Democrats to take action.

Inside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, party leaders are working to draw a bold line differentiating their positions from Donald Trump’s over-the-top hate-filled rhetoric. Meanwhile, protestors outside called for the DNC attendees inside to act to dismantle the regime of deportations, policing, and militarism that has defined this Administration and fostered untold suffering for communities of color in the U.S. and around the world. Here’s a look at some of the protests in Philadelphia.

Not 1 More

On the first day of the DNC, hundreds of people marched through the streets demanding an end to deportations and detention and calling on Democrats to demonstrate that they truly are “the anti-Trump” by supporting these demands. Over President Obama’s eight years in the White House, he has deported more people than any other president and has dramatically expanded the federal infrastructure designed to tear people away from their families and communities. Hillary Clinton has similarly supported mass deportations with her call to send back children fleeing violence in Central America, rather than offer them protection in the U.S.

 Black Lives Matter

Several hundred people also marched in Philadelphia on Tuesday in support of Black lives, protesting police violence and Democratic inaction to end the killings of Black people across the country. The Philly Coalition for REAL (Racial, Economic And Legal) Justice led the march. Hillary Clinton has earned widespread criticism for supporting her husband’s welfare reform and “tough on crime” policies, both of which were devastating to Black communities. And though Clinton has said she regrets those policies, Michelle Alexander points out that she has not proposed solutions to undo the damage they caused. According to Asa Khalif, a Philadelphia protestor, Clinton has one last shot to show that she is in solidarity with the movement for Black lives.

 Justice for Berta Cáceres

Outside the U.S., the consequences of former Secretary Clinton’s militarism have been dire. This week, the It Takes Roots to Weather the Storm People’s Caravan came to Philadelphia to demand justice for Berta Cáceres, a prominent indigenous environmental activist with the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). In March, Cáceres was killed in her home, just one week after being threatened for her organizing in opposition to a large hydroelectric project backed by the World Bank. COPINH members say they believe the Honduran government is responsible for her assassination. Before her death, Berta Cáceres held Hillary Clinton responsible for legitimating the 2009 coup in Honduras that has led to so much violence. 

 No More War

On Wednesday, the Oregon delegation to the DNC interrupted former CIA Director Leon Panetta’s speech shouting, “No more war!” They were soon joined by other delegates for Bernie Sanders, based on a critique of Clinton’s hawkish foreign policy approach, including her support for drone strikes and Israel’s human right abuses.

This action wasn’t the only time Bernie supporters mobilized. They also staged a walk-out from the convention arena on Tuesday when Clinton was officially nominated.

These DNC protests have demonstrated that social movements will continue to mobilize throughout the campaign, and will hold elected officials responsible for their actions, regardless of which party wins the presidency.


Lindsay Schubiner is the Senior Program Manager at the Center for New Community.

The Center for New Community is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse any political parties or candidates for elected office. This post, and any post on Imagine2050, is not intended to support or oppose any candidates for elected office.


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