US Elections 2016

Sanders supporters march in protest

Waves of protesters marched from Philadelphia's City Hall to the Democratic National Convention site at Wells Fargo Centre, with some attempting to climb barricades manned by police, showing frustration and disunity among Democrats on the first day of their party's convention.

Most came to support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and denounce the Democratic National Committee and its outgoing chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after leaked e-mails showed efforts to disadvantage the Sanders campaign. The crowd was largely peaceful but much bigger than the protests at the Republican National Convention last week.

Without Mr Sanders on the presidential ticket, many said they would either stay home or pick the Green party's presumptive nominee, former physician Jill Stein, over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton when they head to the polls in November.

Ms Stein, 66, is courting Sanders supporters, but a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday showed her trailing at 3 per cent. Republican candidate Donald Trump led with 44 per cent to Mrs Clinton's 39 per cent.

When asked how they would feel if disunity among Democrats allowed Mr Trump to win the presidency, many said voting for what they think is right was more important. "If Trump wins, we won't take the blame for it," said speech therapist Kristi Reisch, 41. "We can't keep voting for the lesser of two evils... our vote belongs to us and we need to vote according to our values."

Dr Anne Sumers, 59, said Mrs Clinton "is corrupt and represents corporate America. It's Bernie or bust for me".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Sanders supporters march in protest'. Print Edition | Subscribe