Nuisance: Thursday 7/20: Screw it. I’m done. Leaving the DNC for FDR Park. [Timestamped highlights]

Walking away from the Wells Fargo Center in the parking lot. You can see it lit the background. It’s now dark.

“I’m tired, and I’m just done, listening to all the happy happy speeches. I’m going to FDR Park to be with the people who care about what I care about.”

2:55: “It’s right across the street, but I have to walk…a block or two up, then over than a block or two back.

3:10: Militarized police with serious automated weapons.

4:10: A five-story high broadcast antenna that is a temporary structure. Brought in just for the DNC.

4:40: “All this flash and slickness and big bright lights…”

And none of it does anything to address any of the real problems that are facing our country. It only temporarily distracts us. But it seems that they want to permanently distract us with a constant stream of temporary distractions.

5:00: A viewer asks: Is the DNC over?

No. Chelsea is going to introduce her mother, and then “our Democratic nominee” is going to give her speech.

“I don’t feel there is anything I really need to listen to. It doesn’t matter what she says. It matters what she does. So she’s going to say amazing wonderful things tonight. She can ask for my vote all she likes. But I’m waiting for her to actually earn my vote by doing what is necessary.”

5:45: Has it made my stomach turn?

No. I’ve just chosen to be numb by this point… We knew what we were getting ourselves into. We were going to somebody else’s party. Try and tell them that something is wrong, and they’re just not interested in listening to that.

6:00: Will there be another walkout?

I hope there’s no protester in Hillary’s speech. The campaign set a text requesting that no protests happened during her speech. But some are indeed trying to organize one.

If you were says: “And that’s what you’re supposed to do.”

Jeff: “It doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it.”

7:15: A viewer says Katy Perry is performing.

Jeff:

Oh that’s so unbelievably exciting I can’t even take it. That’s what I’m saying… All of the flash in the famous people, and the incredible technology… In some contexts that might excite me, but in this context, with all the problems that we have, and the injustices that we have… To me it feels like a huge distraction. Go and enjoy Katy Perry. Don’t worry about the big issues that are on your mind.

10:30: A viewer says, “It is it an infomercial for the nominee.”

10:45: A viewer says “Why did you call her our next president?”

Because it seems very likely that she’s going to be our next president, as much as I don’t want that.

11:00: I asked some security guards next to a secret service gate how to get to FDR Park across the street.

Still a long way to go.

12:40: Walking through some parking lot.

14:30: Approaching a wall of cops in front of a permanent fence on the side of the parking lot.

15:45: I see Sam Calhoun. He sees me and is walking to meet me.

16:20: I freak out a cop, who thinks that I’m a protester who magically somehow got onto the other side of the fence. I tell them on the delegate, and he seems OK with that, but he accompanies me, so I think he’s still a bit suspicious.

A minute later he seems convinced.

17:25: In reaction to a viewer: “Oh yeah. They don’t fuck around. They’re not fucking around. There will not be an incident today.”

17:50: There is an opening in the gate, and the police allow me to go through to join the demonstrators. They are kind and accommodating.

18:10: “Excuse me. I’m a delegate…I’m going to the demonstrators.”

“All right man. Rock on.”

“You going out there?”

“I’m going out there. I’m going in.”

“All right. Be careful. Have fun.”

18:25: I meet Sam. Now to walk back to two blocks to FDR Park.

“Sam and I started the day together, and we’re ending the day together.”

19:15: Sam expresses concern with a new group that has joined the protesters. He says numbers are higher, and police presence is stronger.

Sam: “They’re just being precautious.”

22:00: Sam asks if it’s true that people are wearing glow-in-the-dark shirts. It is true, but I didn’t know it at the time. I never saw it myself. Only in pictures and being told by people after the convention ended.

23:00: A viewer thanks me for continuing my coverage and sharing what I’m sharing.

This is my–I’ve made this my job this week. This is not fun, it’s not exciting… This is my job. This is what I can do. It’s Sharon with you guys who actually care what’s going on

23:50: I finally reach the crowd of supporters.

24:10: looking for John Laurits. After talking with math-blogger John Laurits online for months, I finally have a chance to meet him in person. He is also doing a livestream right now. Sam thinks he has found him. He has John’s feed on his own phone, and based on the people in signs that he sees, is trying to narrow it down for me.

25:25: Addressing rumors of people being paid to fill seats after Tuesday’s walk out. Can’t know the truth, the only thing we can know is that it is very difficult to find a seat, when there is supposed to be a seat for every single delegate. Unless you stay in your seat for hours, you will likely lose it.

27:40: Chant: “Show me what unity looks like! This is what unity looks like!”

28:45: I see Sam Jr. He is helping to create a line between the protesters and the police, to provide provocateurs from causing further problems, as they did last night. Sam says that there are a lot of different groups tonight, and it’s more difficult to keep the peace because of it. I agree that it’s a more precarious and aggressive feeling tonight. It is more of a struggle to keep things in control.

31:30: Sam says that he is actually following suspicious people around and videotaping them.

31:50: A gentleman from Eugene, Oregon is listening to us and chimes in (and is live streaming us) that he is also trying to keep protesters and police safe. He says that the people who want to “stir up trouble,” ultimately want anarchy.

35:15: Panning over the crowd. Likely more than 1000 people.

35:30: Chant: “We! Are! The 99%!”

36:10: I see someone named Rachel, who I met back in October at a debate watch party for the second debate in the Democratic primaries.

36:30: Close-up of a person with a gas mask.

37:00: Signs: never Hillary, Bernie DNC, Jill Stein #JillNotHill

37:20: One of the people holding those signs, says that she’s been watching me on my life streams, and is thankful for me speaking on the stage yesterday evening. She’s from Kalamazoo Michigan.

37:30: An interesting sign with a bunch of unity fest. Being held by the woman who’s watching my life streams.

“We love you guys and we’ve been out here just rooting for you. We love you. And we will all do whatever we can.”

We hug.

38:25: A woman with a megaphone does a call and response with the crowd.

39:15: They put me on the mic. I address the crowd for five minutes.

40:20: Jeff: “I did not walk out as a protest, I walked out to be with you guys.”

40:30: John and I finally meet.

41:00: I continue to address the crowd. I think them for supporting us, tell them that we were on the stage yesterday, tell them how we saw them on Tuesday in the morning as we got off of the bus.

I address him questions and rumors.

I continue to address the crowd through 45:00. Answer questions about is there any danger inside? (“just extreme boredom”), are seats being filled by paid people? (“Sprong speculation but can’t prove anything”). Can the protesters be hurt even outside of the building? (“No. That’s why we have life streams.”)

45:00: I speak with Jon briefly.

46:50: Eric Reynolds, a California delegates speaks on another megaphone. He talks about the glow-in-the-dark shirts that were given to Bernie delegates (I did not know about them at this point), as a protest when the lights go off. He talks about the different protests that were organized and led by his state throughout the week.

49:45: He states that a delegate was escorted by police to the bathroom inside the Wells Fargo Center. He states that the delegate was hit, and that the act of protecting himself was interpreted as hitting back, and therefore the police started being aggressive with him.

He talks about delegates being arrested, and other things that I myself did not witness.

53:50: I address this to the camera. I do not have an opportunity to address the crowd. I don’t know if these things are true, but the way that they were sad is riling up the crowd, as if there is consistent violence and the rest towards delegates, and it is clearly not true.

54:10: a woman approaches me who’s remembers me from being on stage last night.

More people continue to approach me, recognizing me from last night. With a little exception, this is as close to being a celebrity as I have ever been.

58:15: according to supporters, delegates are indeed walking out. I have not heard anything about this myself.

58:55: I state how tonight does not feel calm, in comparison to the rest of the week. “This is just a lot of disorganized anger.”

1:00:00: Panning the police presence

1:01:45: A supporter approaches me, recognizing me from the stage last night, says that he got credentials from a delegate, and use them to go in last night to see Barack Obama speak. This was when the gate reach happens. He says that he did not hear about that until today.

He is amazed at the rigid structure of what happens on the inside, and the complete absence of any of these protests, or their sentiments. “It’s like an alternate reality.”

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