Nuisance: Wed 7/27: Brian: We must stage a dramatic and drastic protest before the DNC ends tomorrow. “It’s now or never.”

Part one: In the grass at FDR Park

(Full dialogue.)

On Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Kerith, Michelle, Richard, and I joined many delegates at FDR Park to speak with their supporters. Afterwards, Kerith and I spent two hours talking to some of our supporters, sitting in the grass, in the dark.

Halfway through (at the two-hour mark), we meet a young man from Brooklyn, New York, named Brian. Brian is 21-years-old, soft-spoken, Hispanic, with a small goatee on the very bottom of his chin. He is wearing a gray tank top, and his left ear is pierced once on the bottom and twice on the top. The piercings are subtle (it was also dark) and I didn’t notice them until after watching the video several times. Sitting with us is Claudia from Western Kentucky.


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Like most of us at FDR Park tonight, Brian is disgusted at the corruption in our government, and that Hillary was “installed by the Democratic Party,” not voted in by the people.

He speaks with an intense urgency, about wanting to make a statement before the convention ends the next night. About needing do something right now, to show the Democratic Party that we know what they are doing “and we’re not going to take it anymore.” That we also need to convince the rest of America, those outside of our progressive bubble (“the people who only have MSNBC”), on the depth of corruption.

[W]e’re acting as if the rally is already over. [If we don’t do anything before the convention ends], it’s speaking in a way that–making it seem that we have already like–we’re past this DNC already. It’s over. We’re just sort of biding time until the next step. […] The whole point of this protest was to show how outraged we are at a rigged election.

I didn’t think of this at the time, but while protesting the potentially rigged democratic primary is an important part, the real reason we’re here is to start Bernie Sanders’ political revolution. To discuss and start the plan of getting people like us into all levels of government, to create the government we deserve.

Jeff: The revolution is “a marathon, not a sprint.”

Claudia: “It’s a long game.”

Kerith: “This is not a tomorrow thing.”

But with as little time as is left in the convention and with how much injustice has been done, Brian says the time has to be now. He points to all of the people standing around us at the park, who have the same energy and anger, with the window of opportunity slipping away. Everyone is going home tomorrow.

I understand [the long-term goals of the political revolution]. It’s perfectly logical. But I’m saying this isn’t pressuring anything. This isn’t showing power, this isn’t showing unity. This is showing a mass of people who want change, and are not doing anything with the numbers that they have. And they’re not organizing in a way that’s going to have an immediate effect now.

[We need] real, immediate change. We’re not just idealists looking towards, ‘Oh tomorrow, tomorrow, we’ll get a seat in Congress.’ If we look impotent [to the Democratic Party and to America] what are people going to do…?

While actual change is important, it is more long-term. The perception of change by others is a more urgent and immediate concern. He wants “to do something drastic,” since that is the only way we will have a chance of being heard.

His idea is to walk into the Wells Fargo Center, led by delegates, and to peacefully sit. “And then we demonstrate that America is not going to take a completely corrupt system.” His goal is to be covered by mainstream media and ultimately be seen by the general public.

Claudia: “If we weren’t pissed off, we wouldn’t be here talking right now. We’ve already done something…”

Claudia talks about how this DNC is different, given the amount of supporters from all around the country that are already here. How remarkable it is that she, someone from western Kentucky, is talking to Brian from New York, on a livestream, here in Philadelphia. During the DNC, Claudia was interviewed by CNN and the New Yorker, (and I was interviewed on television and quoted in four newspaper articles).

She concludes: “We’re not going to get [the coverage that we want] from the mainstream media–”

Brian:

Unless we do something rash. […]

We have to address the fact of how ridiculous of a picture it [this] is. There’s two walls and SWAT preventing us from showing our outrage of a rigged election.

We press Brian to walk us through his plan. Setting aside all the police and barriers that divides FDR Park and The Wells Fargo Center, if you try and walk into the convention, the first thing you encounter is the Secret Service security checkpoint.

Jeff: “And you don’t think the Secret Service is going to stop you?” He does believe they will be stopped.

Jeff: “And then what?”

Brian: “And then we demonstrate that America is not going to take a completely corrupt system.”

The point of any protest is to express a message or execute an action. To do it as effectively as possible before being stopped, and especially before the potential for violence. At some point, the protest will indeed end, either by choice or by force. But if there is confidence that the message was heard by many, and that it will make a difference, then perhaps even the possibility of violence is worth it. But an effective message or action is paramount.

Since the Secret Service will clearly not allow their checkpoint to be breached, I don’t see how it is possible to ever reach that point–let alone for it to be seen, covered, or broadcasted by the media. These ideas do not occur to me until now, as I write this article.

Brian:

What do you think it’s going to happen? […] It’s like you’re saying if we go in there we’ll be massacred or something. That something dire will happen when peaceful people that want to be heard, walk into a place that directly concerns them. […]

Do you think the civil rights movement, That people don’t get hurt? … Don’t you think people are prepared for that? … If we are being peaceful, then why would they attack us?

We are not going to reach a resolution tonight.

I’m not saying don’t do it. If you want to do it, do it. But I absolutely will not participate in it, and–I won’t sabotage you, but–if people asked me, [I would say] I don’t think it’s a good idea unless we get some really seasoned advice on how to pull it off.

I don’t think that any of us here have the experience or knowledge to do something this serious.

Brian:

I have the experience and the knowledge to know what the hell to do against a two-party system that has literally done every corrupt thing in the book.

We shouldn’t be this scared to do something peaceful. […] This is like something out of a third world country. Peaceful people will be killed if they do anything that is against the rules.


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Jeff:

We should not have to not have to do this much [planning and preparation]. This should not be the country that we live in. But this is the country that we live in.

Brian: “It’s now or never.”

Claudia and Brian, realizing they don’t know each other’s names, introduce themselves: “I don’t want you to die today.” They hug.

Jeff: “I want you to die two days after that.” Laughter.

Claudia: “Whatever you do, please be careful.”

Part two: Brian, after witnessing people being roughed up by police at #DNCGateBreach: “Our presence is not violence”

(Full dialogue.)

Within minutes after leaving FDR Park, a group of at least five people dressed fully in black use bolt cutters to breach the gate at Broad and Pattison, which divides FDR Park and the Wells Fargo Center. About two of them run out into the street towards hundreds of police officers and are immediately detained. Police officers swarmed into the protester area, extremely quickly, creating a line between them and the gate. They repair the gate, and exit the area completely within 20 minutes.

For the next two hours, I intensively investigated what happened, and six witnesses agree that the police’s response was strong but reasonable. People who were truly right next to where the breach occurred did indeed get roughed up a bit. But as it was critical for the police to create some space in order to repair the gate and regain control, and in the chaos of the moment it was not possible to distinguish between perpetrators and peaceful protesters, this is to be expected. There were no reports of injuries or arrests of peaceful supporters, and, again, they left the area within 20 minutes.

I did get some reports of phones being smacked out of peoples hands in the first moments, and the audio cable to the TYT Politics camera was pulled out. But the vast majority of those I interacted with agreed that, given the intensity of the situation, the police could not have done a better job.

During this time, I once again encounter Brian. He was very close to where the breach occurred, and, unfortunately, witnessed people being pushed around by police officers. This has only increased his sense of injustice, and urgency at doing something right now.

(Just before seeing him again, one of those six witnesses joins us. He wishes to remain anonymous. Since he has a beard, I call him Beard.)

Brian:

They’re [the police are] not interested in quelling the violent ones, they’re interested in beating the front line when they get the chance.
When the [police came in] they pushed on us right?

Beard and me: “Yeah?”

Brian: “And then a cop goes to a guy, ‘Take your fucking bandanna [mask] off’.”


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Beard: “Yeah!”

Brian: “And then he says, ‘Step the fuck back.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m being fucking peaceful.'”

Jeff: “He said, ‘I’m being fucking peaceful’?”

Brian: “Yeah.”

Jeff: “Well that’s not very fucking peaceful.”

Beard: “But he had a mask on right?”

Jeff: “If you say, ‘I’m being fucking peaceful’, That’s not so peaceful.”

Brian: “Well after cops fucking rush and throw people around in the front…”

Jeff: “But why did they rush?!”

Woman: “Whose side you on, bro?”

Jeff: “What side am I on?!”

Beard: “He’s a Bernie delegate!”

Jeff:

I’m a Bernie delegate. But there are two sides two every story. There are two sides to every story. And to talk about their side doesn’t make me a traitor. If you want to call me a traitor by suggesting that I’m not–

Woman: “I’m not saying you’re a traitor. You’re saying he wasn’t being peaceful because he wasn’t saying it right.”

Brian:

So no matter what response, it would’ve been right for the cops? What if the cops started pushing us all the way towards the highway. People are just going to stand there and let us? […] You’re just saying any response is okay?

Jeff: “I must say. We had a long conversation at the park, and I’m sensing–I sensed over there, and I sense over here–pessimism about them.”

Brian: “You weren’t here on the front line.”

Jeff: “I’m acknowledging that I wasn’t. But the reports that I’ve seen so far are that they were strong but appropriate. And what you seem to be suggesting is that they were threatening violence against peaceful protesters. And I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet.”

Brian:

You weren’t on the front lines. You didn’t see what I fucking saw. [After telling the person to take off his bandanna and step back], and then the fucking cop gives him the fucking, the most disgusting fucking smirk I ever heard of in my fucking life.

It turns out Brian may very well have witnessed some pretty rough behavior. I believe he is at the 40-45 second mark in this video:

The point is to go through the wall. We were talking about going to the wall before. We shouldn’t be met with the fucking army, to go through three walls. What is this a fucking police state? This is a fucking police state.

Jeff, referring to tonight, not the country as a whole: “This is a police state.”

Brian: “Two fucking fences. A fucking army of police.”

Beard: “You have a president in there.”

Brian: “After what happened? After our government rigged an entire election.”

A new man joins in the conversation: “So when you get into the DNC and you break past the cops, what do you want to do?”

Brian: “Fucking…protest inside.”

This new person tried to push him in the same way that Claudia and I did at FDR Park. Unfortunately I got distracted and interrupted the conversation.

Brian: “Our presence is not violence.”

Nuisance: Wed 7/27: #DNCGateBreach: The full story (from two points of view)

First, mine

It is late Wednesday, the third Day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and President Barack Obama is about to speak at the Wells Fargo Center, closing out the day’s official, well polished, and highly scripted activities. He honestly may already be speaking. I have long since lost track of time, currently in my third consecutive hour of live streaming for Citizens’ Media TV; not to mention having already streamed 7-1/2 hours earlier in the day.

Fellow Bernie Sanders delegate, Michelle McFadden-DiNicola, and I are standing in the middle of the intersection at Broad and Pattison in South Philadelphia, which sits between the Wells Fargo Center and FDR Park. We are surrounded by thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters, miles of serious, industrial-strength security gates, and many hundreds of police officers, on foot, on bicycle, and on horseback. There are lines of officers both in and outside of the protester area, since keeping Bernie Sanders supporters at least a half mile away from the DNC is a top priority.

Thirty minutes previous, Michelle and I were sitting in the grass at FDR Park with our supporters, capping off what, for us, was the most meaningful event of the week. Bernie Sanders delegates and their supporters have been struggling to communicate all week long, and we finally did something about it.

We are standing at a corner of the security gate, where, were it not dark, we could see it stretch south the entire length down Broad Street, until it reaches Interstate 95 at the far end of the block (because the interstate is so close, a number of its exits are shut down). Broad Street is the longest street in Philadelphia, and the longest straight “urban” street in the world, and this is one of its southern most blocks. Going east, in the distance, the gate extends to the other side of the street, makes a 90° turn left (north), lining the other side of Broad Street for two more blocks. So north of and at Pattison, protesters can be on Broad Street itself. South of Pattison, only officially sanctioned security, governmental, and state-delegation buses can be on it.

Michelle tells me how she has decided to return to the convention the next and final day, despite leaving in last night’s walkout, because it’s what our supporters want us to do. They “did some amazing things to get here. They made me feel a little bit shamed for wanting to go [home]. I don’t know what I’ll be doing, but I’m staying.”

A man with a white cloth facemask hanging under his chin notes the lack of tension. “I see a bunch of armed officers doing their job… They’re out there to look intimidating to everybody else, [but not to us].”

What about the security gates?

I do think [they are] a bit draconian. It’s still a five/ten minute walk to the actual building, so I do think it’s a bit too far… But for where it is, the officers are doing a good job. Everyone here protesting is doing a good job. It’s a peaceful event. We’re speaking our minds. Everything is…

As he says, “It’s a peaceful event,” his words gradually slow, and his attention drifts behind him. A helicopter becomes noticeably louder, and the energy of the entire crowd gravitates to a single point. Distant screams and struggles are heard. On the opposite side of the gate, where for hours there were calm lines of police standing straight on the double yellow lines, there is now commotion.

Me: “Whoa! Oh my gosh. They broke open the gate.”

Halfway down the east west portion of the gate, two sections swing in towards the crowd, its metal flickering in the helicopter’s spotlight. It is being pushed in by masses of police.

(Note the roses in the foreground.)


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Michelle joins many others who go north on Broad Street to escape the potential danger. The next day she tells me that she caught a cab back to her friend’s house where she is staying.

I hear people screaming, not not in pain or fear, but exhilaration.

Within one minute, much of the east-west portion of the gate is lined with about 100 police officers. They are creating a space between the gate and the protesters, in order to fix the break.

To get a better view, I ask a woman standing on top of one of the many concrete security barriers (like those that divide highways) to help me up. As soon as she grabs my hand, I realize how precarious this is. How careful we need to be so she doesn’t fall. When I reach the top, I tell her, “I’m glad I didn’t kill you.”

Ten feet away from me, I see Billy Taylor standing even higher, by himself, on a metal utility box.


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The police start yelling.

“Move!”

“Go go go!”

In another 30 seconds, a line of approximately 70 bicycle cops fill in between the gate and the officers on foot. At the same time, many hundreds more officers, perhaps up to 1,000, stream in from the Wells Fargo Center. It is dark and difficult to see, but at the same time it is clear that what was originally about 150 officers standing behind the gate on Pattison Avenue, on the opposite from of the protesters, is now approaching 500. They are continually shifting positions.

The crowd begins chanting, “We are non-violent! We are non-violent!” There is also a steady drumbeat coming from somewhere in the crowd. The chant soon becomes, “Sit down! Sit down!”

Over the next minute, the standing officers move behind those on bicycles, and after loud “Let’s step forward! Step forward!”, those on bicycles take a large step towards the crowd, creating a bigger space between the protesters and the broken fence.

Twenty minutes later, all of the police standing between the gate and the protesters, including the helicopter, are gone. Although tensions remain through to the end of the DNC the next night, this incident is over. Aside from the initial moments of the breach, there are no noticeable conflicts between officers and protesters.

The truth

Now with the situation settled, my focus turns to getting the truth. A direct confrontation with police occurring right next to Bernie Sanders supporters, regardless who caused it, will likely be blamed on them. While nothing can be done to stop the lies and misleading coverage, what we can do–the very reason Citizens’ Media TV was created–is to make sure the entire truth is revealed and shared as widely as possible. So those who do want to know the truth–who are “woke” and brave enough to question the narrative, can easily find it.

I spend the next two hours investigating what happened, and get corroboration from six witnesses from various perspectives. With little exception, the consensus is that the police handled this intense situation as best as can be expected; they were “strong but reasonable.” All week long, both before, during, and after this incident, the Philadelphia police are spoken of in almost exclusively positive terms by Bernie Sanders supporters.

After the DNC is over, I comb through many additional sources of coverage, and confirm almost everything I discovered was correct. But the most important source of all, which I will discover in about one hour, is a video filmed by the son of a fellow Citizens’ Media TV correspondent.

Sam Jr.: A truly first-hand perspective.

I walk north on Broad Street and catch a taxi back to my hotel. The driver misunderstands the hotel name, drives me to the wrong one, and then tries to charge me a lot extra for the extra distance caused by the mistake. I give him the benefit of the doubt and a few dollars extra. Maybe I wasn’t clear or loud enough.

Anyway! At what time I can only guess is significantly after midnight–I exit the elevator to my hotel floor. As I approach my room, I pull the key card out of my wallet. Before reaching my door, I receive a phone call from Sam Calhoun. He tells me his son, Sam Jr., is currently sitting in a Philadelphia police station–voluntarily!–giving a statement and providing the footage that he captured of the perpetrators who breached the gate.

After exiting the station, he uploads the footage to YouTube and sends me the link.

It is extraordinary.

It also turns out to be Citizens’ Media TV’s first genuine exclusive. Unless the perpetrators themselves release their own footage, there is nothing that captures the incident like it. Not only does it show the entire breach, it also captures the five minutes leading up to it, showing the perpetrators preparing and rehearsing. It is also not a choppy and square livestream, but a high-quality video.

The next morning, Sam and his son, along with a friend who wishes to remain anonymous, come to my hotel room and we thoroughly discuss his experience. It ends with Sam narrating the raw footage.

Sam Jr. is a 22-year-old from Baltimore, currently attending community college and working in home-improvement. Before this election, his only involvement in politics was to volunteer as the Democratic Chief Judge in a polling place in both 2012 and 2016 (there is also a Republican). A Chief Judge “oversees a polling place to make sure that everything is kosher. [That] we’re not handing out an excessive amount of provisional ballots, we’re not doing wrong by the people.” He says he did not feel any pressure to do anything questionable in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

How did he discover Bernie Sanders? Earlier this year, from his father. He laughs. “Normally the younger generation is the one who talks about the older generation [being] out of touch.”

After watching the delegates speak at FDR Park, he and his friend participate in the candlelight vigil/funeral March for the DNC (this is the third and final time that this March occurs during the week). Before Michelle and I arrive at the same spot, the life-size coffin is thrown over the fence, which the police are obviously prepared for. With 150 cops standing between twenty and 100 feet away, only a single officer with a bomb sniffing dog approaches it, and it is soon carried away. Michelle I did not witness any of the March or the coffin being thrown over.

“Something’s wrong. I can feel it in my gut.”

Sam’s friend:

It was the first thing, as soon as we walked over to where all of the rest of the protesters were. I looked at him [Sam Jr.] as soon as we got there… And I said, ‘Something’s wrong. I can feel it in my gut. Something’s going to happen.’ [As] soon as we walk over, the first thing we noticed is a guy [dressed fully in black] digging in his bag…grabbing out a full gas mask.

Sam Jr.:

This was just an intimidating presence that you could feel in your gut. You could tell something was going to happen… When we were at the main stage with Billy [Taylor of Philly.FYI, who led the procession and constructed the coffin], there was somebody who was trying to rile the crowd up. Talking about how Bernie Sanders was assaulted… They did a “mic check” [style call-and-response] and tried to get the whole crowd to look on their phones [to confirm the assault]. Billy just shut them down and said, ‘That’s not true’ after looking on the guy’s phone. And everybody clapped, saying, ‘Right on Billy, don’t let the [rumors] spread.’

Sam’s friend:

We walked in later on, so they were [already] there. But what we assume though, is that [at least some of them] were hidden within the crowd of protesters, and walked with us from FDR Park.

In Sam’s video it is clear that there are approximately five people dressed in black (although his friend’s estimate is, “lowball, at least a dozen.”), but many others are working with them. This includes a woman chanting into a megaphone, “We are unstoppable! Another world is possible!” She’s wearing a red hat and skirt-dress with a halter top, and has shoulder length brown hair.


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The apparent leader of the group is a thin male in his mid-30s, wearing a grey tank top, with the sleeve holes going halfway down his midsection. He has buzzed hair and a round bald spot at the top of his head. He is walking back-and-forth, gesturing and seemingly reviewing and rehearsing what is about to happen. One of the men dressed in black awkwardly dances to the chant.


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Billy Taylor is seen standing on the electrical “stump” in the background, close to the gate.

The leader goes away, and in a couple of minutes (at the 4:15 mark) returns, gesturing “come” with the pointer and middle finger of his right hand, his thumb sticking out to the side, the remaining two fingers loosely folded to his hand. A steady rimshot begins. The five in black, and a man in a white t-shirt huddle together.


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Within 10 seconds, they all walk briskly to the gate.

At least a dozen others join them, two holding professional video cameras, both held high and pointing down, one attached to the top of a stick. All of these people start moving at exactly the same time, and towards exactly the same point. As soon as they start moving, the rimshot and megaphone-chants end.


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Sam’s friend holds his position, but Sam follows closely behind with the camera. A loud snap is heard, which I can only guess is not the chain being cut.

Chants, seemingly from others, are heard. “Who streets!? Our streets!”

“Keep it peaceful!”

Sam Jr. starts chanting, “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!”

The perpetrators run through the crowd, directly to the planned spot on the gate. Water balloons are thrown over the gate as a distraction. They use large, rusty, red-handled bolt cutters to cut the thin chain connecting two portions of the fence together, and push them out towards the line of police officers standing on Pattison Avenue. The bolt cutters are left on the ground.

Aside: The chain


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From the 37 minute mark in my video, a man who witnessed it firsthand says that the original

was a small chain that fit through the mesh [of the gate itself]… These are a lot bigger now. You’re not going to get bolt cutters around those.

Continuing

The gates silently swing out towards the police.

Four of the men dressed in black run through the gate, along with at least two of their accomplices, the man with in white T-shirt and the woman with the megaphone. The woman goes late and is abruptly tackled.

From this tweet.


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The peaceful protesters who are now in the middle are trying to escape backwards.

“They opened the gate!”

“They just broke in!”

“They broke it!”

The police response is remarkably fast. The police push the gate closed, continue pushing it back into the protester area, and then immediately close it again. As evidenced by this video:

No officers come through the gate. Those unfortunate to be standing directly in the arc of the gate, are naturally resisting so they aren’t hit by it. A poor fellow now finds himself standing in the middle of what is now gaping hole, and is about to be roughly pushed by one of the first officers. I am guessing that he is choosing that capturing the moment with his phone is a higher priority than his safety.

The following video shows some admittedly rough treatment by some of the first officers, against supporters standing at the gate (and as likely witnessed by Brian):


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There are also reports, with video to confirm (from this tweet), that phones are deliberately knocked out of peoples’ hands. Also, it is known that the audio wire for TYT Politics was pulled.

Others who were with the perpetrators are now pretending to be among the original peaceful crowd. This includes a man filming the group, who pushes back against the gate on the viewer’s right. When facing the police, he puts his other hand, the one not holding the camera, up in peace or surrender. Also, the leader himself pumps his fists in the air to cheer, aggressively pushes the gate closed, then blends in with the crowd and put his hands up, pretending to not be involved. In fact, you can just make him out in the very first picture of the open gate in this article, under the “my version” section above. Both men are seen in this video:

From this tweet.

In order:


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Many are seen walking away, escaping the danger, but more are walking towards it, filming with their phones.

A man in his late 30s, wearing a light blue Bernie t-shirt, walks away from the action, with hands sticking animatedly in the air. He seems sincere, trying to make it overly obvious that he is not involved.


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One of the men in black is taken away by a police officer, back through the protester crowd. Another, who I believe is a woman, walks right through the line of cops, down and out of frame, seemingly getting away.


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Sam Jr., still with a steady hand on the camera, briefly pulls away, and once again chants, “Keep the peace! Keep the peace!”

He walks back and starts forcing people right next to the cops to give them some space. “Everybody get back!”


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The first man he pushes says, “The criminals are in there!”

“OK, sorry man. But back it up.”

He pushes another. “Back it up! Back it up!”

The next person Sam pushes away is a Fox News reporter.

“Sir, back it up! Back it up! Back!”

The reporter (in the video in this article) confirms that Bernie supporters did not do this, rather provocateurs. As Sam pushes him–guides him–he is so engrossed in his phone and microphone, he does not respond as he is moved away.

The officers closest to the protesters are holding billy clubs diagonally across their midsections.


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Sam says to the crowd, “Keep some distance! Keep some distance!”

The crowd briefly chants, “The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!”

The most consistent chant during this time becomes: “We are non-violent! We are non-violent!”

Bicycle cops are are now forming a line behind those on foot, and a few minutes later those on foot go behind the bicycles.


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“Behind the bikes!”

“Yo! Yo! Get behind the bikes!”


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Someone screams, “The criminals are in there! Go get them!!”

A brief chant of, “Election fraud! Election fraud!”

As the police approach, a man in his early 30s places a flag on the ground and attempts to burn it. It is taken by police. He is also seen participating in a separate flag burning. He has a short brown hair, a close shaven and thin beard going under his chin, but no mustache. He is white or perhaps Hispanic, muscular, and is wearing a shirt that says “Black Guns Matter”, written in the same style as Black Lives Matter. He is holding a sign on a yardstick that says on the top half, in yellow-on-black, “America was never great!”, and on the bottom in white-on-red, “We need to OVERTHROW the system!”.

The man is moving erratically, almost like a boxer. Each movement brings him closer to the officers facing him. He then jumps back to his original position, perhaps three feet away, and repeats the process. At one point he suddenly tenses, juts his chest forward, elbows out and back, and tenses and extends his fingers, all as if threatening to attack. He is yelling and violently bobbing his head, gesturing “come on!” with fingers, pointing to his own face, daring them to strike.

The officers remain calm and do not react.


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Later in the video (at around the 12 minute mark) the same man is seen in the background, away from the police, still dancing and bobbing in the same jerky fashion, to no one, and with no apparent music or chants accompanying him.


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The crowd chants: “Sit! Sit! Sit!”

A Native-American woman in a yellow headscarf says, “Sit! They are not the problem! The DNC is the problem! Show them respect! Sit! Sit down or get out! Sit down or get out!” She takes off the scarf before continuing.

Many sit, some with their hands clasped on the top their heads as if surrendering.

And now the police are gone.

Sam approaches an officer who seems to be in charge, unknowingly choosing the Philadelphia Chief of Police. This is the same person that attended multiple meetings between Philly.FYI and the Philadelphia city government, in which I participated.

“People did not start storming the gates, sir. I caught it on tape and I’ve been watching the whole thing.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yes sir.”

“Let’s see what you’ve got.”

After watching the video, Sam and his friend are invited down to the station to make a statement and submit the video as evidence.

Back in my hotel room on Thursday morning, I joke with Sam Sr., how he must be “so proud that my boy is running right into the middle of the most dangerous thing of the entire convention.”

Sam Sr. says that he did the exact same thing the night before. Here is the video he is referring to, called “Bringing the peace”. He suggests reading the description first for context.

Finally, here is a preview we recorded in anticipation of releasing the above raw video:

Note: About half of the people in my own investigation stated that water balloons were thrown over the gate as a distraction, I could find no video evidence to corroborate it.