Chairman of the Democratic Party of California John Burton told protesters to shut up and leave during the state convention Friday.
The protesters largely consisted of former supporters of Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders’ run for president during the 2016 primary race. The California Nurses Association joined the protest to urge Democratic lawmakers to vote in favor of a statewide single-payer healthcare system.
“Hey, shut the fuck up or go outside,” Burton said to the protesters Friday. “Parade all you want, but unless we put it on the ballot or elect new Democrats you can walk up and down the street and people still aren’t going to have decent healthcare. So let’s get with it.”
— David Siders (@davidsiders) May 20, 2017
Other Californian Democrats joined in the protest, largely out of opposition to newly elected Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Tom Perez.
“We are booing because we feel Perez is part of the establishment that keeps co-opting the progressive movement,” State Delegate Gilbert Feliciano told local reporters. “The corporatists have an ally with Tom Perez. We felt like it was important to come and voice our discontent.”
An internal Democratic Party email leak revealed that members of the party leadership assisted the campaign to elect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the primary. Sanders supporters are still upset with party leadership, saying that the Democratic Party is in an “absolute crisis.”
“They are a party in absolute crisis and denial,” leader of the California Nurse’s Association RoseAnn DeMoro told the Sacremento Bee about Democratic leadership. “They are too comfortable.”
The leaked emails show top executives discussing anti-Sanders strategy during the meetings.
“It might make no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God?” DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall wrote in an email about the progressive senator.
“He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage,” Marshall continued. “I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
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