Strikes, Protests Could Wreak Havoc On Philadelphia During Democratic Convention

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With less than two weeks until the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia, strikes, protests and law enforcement challenges could wreak havoc on the city.

As originally reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, roughly 1,000 of the city’s airport workers overwhelmingly voted on Tuesday to walk off the job during the convention. Workers on strike include wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers and airport cleaners, among others.

“The purpose of the DNC is to lift workers out of poverty,” union leader Gabe Morgan told the Inquirer. “What these workers are fighting for is what the DNC and the convention is supposed to be about.”

The airport workers’ strike is just the latest bit of bad news for city leaders and Democratic party officials.

The possibility of up to 1 million protesters from a plethora of activist groups descending on the city poses a threat of its own. City officials took out a $5 million insurance policy in preparation for the convention. The policy will cost the city $1.2 million. Even though authorities are worried about the possibility of riots, police officers will not be donning riot gear for the convention, the AP reported.

One group of protesters, the Philadelphia Coalition for REAL (Racial, Economic And Legal) Justice, has planned a “resistance march against the capitalist & racist government.”

“Philadelphia is a historically Black city, as well as the birth of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both documents have kept the Black community subjugated. The American political system was organized and created by white men who supported and upheld the enslavement of Black people,” the group said in a statement on Facebook. “These documents continue to function under the order of white supremacy and neo-liberal reformists politics. Black liberation cannot occur in a reformist society. White supremacy must be abolished and Black liberation must become a priority.”

The group has roughly 4,500 followers on Facebook.

Another group of protesters, titled Occupy DNC, has reserved campgrounds where thousands of protesters will camp out when not protesting, titled “Camp Bernie.” Roughly 30,000 people have committed to protest with the group in Philadelphia.

The protesters appear committed to their mission, despite the fact that Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton earlier this week.

“The sideshow surrounding this convention is exactly what Hillary Clinton doesn’t need,” said Jeremy Adler, communications director of conservative non-profit America Rising Squared. “She’s already having a tough enough time winning over skeptical Bernie Sanders supporters and stories like these only distract from her attempts to try and improve her disastrous numbers when it comes to honesty and trustworthiness.”

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