PHILADELPHIA — It’s a perfect storm for rioting, as a combination of lax security, walled-off Democrat elites, and a huge mob of angry protesters have come together here at the Democratic National Convention.
As heavy thunderstorms put a damper on the thousands of protesters gathered outside the DNC, I sat down with veteran video journalist Jeremy Segal a.k.a. Rebel Pundit for a cheesesteak dinner. We agree: if the leftist activists do not cause total chaos on the streets of Philadelphia in the next few days, it’s only because they choose not to.
Segal, who was also at last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, decided to come to Philadelphia after WikiLeaks dropped 20,000 emails over the weekend showing Bernie Sanders supporters’ that the election was rigged against their man. He knew that the tensions created by the document would exacerbate the already tense situation between Sanders supporters and the Democrat establishment.
However, when he got to Philadelphia, Segal was immediately struck by the security and logistical differences between the Democrat and Republican conventions.
Unlike Cleveland, which had a significant police presence including officers who had flown in from around the country, law enforcement in Philadelphia is simply outnumbered. There aren’t enough cops on the street to control the crowd, but more importantly the crowd itself is much bigger. The activist left is a natural constituency for the Democratic Party and the entire northeastern United States from Boston to New York to Baltimore all have easy access to Philadelphia.
Just as significantly, law enforcement in Philadelphia has done almost nothing to secure the streets of the city itself. The Wells Fargo Center is in a relatively remote location, removed from the Center City area of downtown Philadelphia. The security is almost exclusively focused on the area around the Wells Fargo Center, however.
On Monday, protesters were briefly successful in blocking delegates from getting into the arena, but ultimately the elite Democrat politicians and entertainers making speeches for the TV cameras are safe from everything but the booing. The chance of a “shutdown” of the convention itself is very small.
However, should the protesters decide to ignore the convention itself, apply the lesson of Baltimore or Ferguson and take to the streets to break windows, flip cars, and start fires, there is almost nothing stopping them.
On Monday night, Bernie Sanders gave a conciliatory – some say servile – speech that actively endorsed Hillary Clinton. Hearing Sanders promote Hillary as the solution to leftist issues such as income inequality and going after Wall Street likely created cognitive dissonance for the activists who know full well that the Clintons have personally pocketed millions of dollars through their various charities and global initiatives, as well as raking in huge amounts of money via speeches and contributions from big investment firms.
Bernie has had his say. Now it’s up to the protesters.
The grassroots activists know that they have three more days where the eyes of the nation are focused on Philadelphia to make their voices heard.
Bernie Sanders represented the far left’s best hope for United States to become a significantly more socialist nation via strictly political means.
However, for the group who believes in ‘by any means necessary’, that might not be enough.
It remains to be seen how the situation will play out. The weather forecast for the week includes more rain, which could be a significant factor in quelling any large-scale protests. At this point the biggest single factor is simply the will of the people.
Here’s Lee Stranahan about conditions on the ground in Philadephia on Tuesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM.