PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Small protests popped up around downtown Philadelphia on Wednesday and no marches were planned, making for quieter streets on Day 3 of the Democratic convention.
Bernie Sanders supporters gathered at a plaza near City Hall, about 4 miles from the convention site, for daylong rallies and speeches. A few hundred had assembled by early afternoon, blasting tunes by “Lean on Me” singer Bill Withers.
A few blocks away, police detained 10 protesters at Comcast’s corporate headquarters for holding a sit-in accusing the cable giant and NBC owner of not reporting the truth. Officers zip-tied them and briefly closed the 975-foot skyscraper to all but Comcast employees. The demonstrators were ticketed and released.
Another group of about a dozen anti-Israel demonstrators protested at a hotel where a number of delegations to the four-day convention were staying. They called for a free Palestine.
The absence of marches was a marked change from earlier in the week.
Thousands of activists have taken to the streets during the convention to voice support for Sanders and his liberal agenda. On Tuesday night, the “Bernie or bust” brigades watched in dismay as Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.
“We all have this unrealistic dream that democracy is alive in America,” said Debra Dilks, of Boonville, Missouri. She said she isn’t sure she will even vote in November: “Hillary didn’t get the nomination. The nomination was stolen.”
The longstanding bitterness between Sanders’ supporters and Clinton’s seemed to grow worse over the past few days after a trove of hacked emails showed that officials at the Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primaries and sought to undermine Sanders’ campaign.
Sanders had urged supporters Monday to fall in line behind Clinton for the good of the country. But many were unmoved.
Thousands gathered in the streets outside the convention at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night, and some tried to scale the 8-foot walls around a restricted zone. Police and the Secret Service arrested four protesters.
As of midday Wednesday, only about 75 people were at the nearby park that has become a base for the protesters.
President Barack Obama will implore voters Wednesday to elect Hillary Clinton to the White House, appealing to the women, minorities and young people who powered his rise and are now crucial to hers.
In addition to party loyalty, a big motivation for President Obama’s robust support is deep concern that Republican Donald Trump can win in November and unravel the president’s eight years in office.
“Anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing,” Mr. Obama said ahead of his address at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.
For several hours, Trump stole the show.