“Bernie or Bust:” Updates from Philadelphia Rally

After 42 years, I am leaving the Democratic Party.


This article is part of an ongoing series written by University of Delaware journalism students as they cover the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #UDatDNC.

At the “Bernie or Bust” rally that took place across from City Hall on Tuesday, Victoria Thompson stood on top of the platform and held her handpainted “Sanders for President” sign.

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The California native has been working on the Sanders campaign for the last year, mostly by posting online. She has also gone to three different states to take part in canvassing and phone banking.

“I made this sign in my living room,” Thompson said. “It took me about a week to make.” 

Thompson has been in Philadelphia since Friday morning, and has even been crashing the delegate breakfasts by holding up her sign and voicing her support for Sanders.

Her sign and efforts have gained her a lot of attention. She has also been asked to take pictures with celebrities such as Rosario Dawson and Shailene Woodley. 

“I have been interviewed by almost every mainstream media network,” said Thompson.”They all want a picture of the sign, and they all want to interview me about what I have been doing—but it’s not like I have an option.” 

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Paula Insella 

New Hampshire resident Paula Isella said she understands why Sanders is now endorsing soon-to-be presidential nominee Hillary Clinton—she just doesn’t agree. 

“I think it was expected,” said Insella, 60, on the second day of the convention. “He is a brilliant man, and I have total respect for him and whatever he decides to do because he has worked within the system establishment for decades.” 

Many Bernie supporters will shift their support to Clinton, but Insella says she plans to leave the Democratic Party entirely. She plans to write in a candidate in November. 

“[…] I believe the year 2016 will mark the year that a viable third party was formed,” she said. “After 42 years, I am leaving the Democratic Party.”

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