PHILADELPHIA ― Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is riding the coattails of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Democratic National Convention, giving voice to Sanders supporters’ claims that Hillary Clinton stole the party nomination.
Addressing several hundred supporters Monday in front of Philadelphia City Hall, Stein courted Sanders supporters, telling them, “Your campaign lost because of a rigged system.”
Although Sanders and his campaign staff have rejected those claims, the senator has consistently maintained the Democratic National Committee was biased toward Clinton during the primary campaign. He notched a victory over the weekend with the resignation of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), after WikiLeaks released hacked DNC emails that showed party officials scheming against Sanders.
Stein has been running as the presumptive Green Party candidate for over a year, campaigning for action to address climate change. Like Sanders, she opposes the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries recently negotiated by the Obama administration.
Stein has plenty of reason to court Sanders supporters. She is currently polling at just 3 percent, according to a new CNN-ORC national poll.
Sanders supporters were present throughout the crowd, which consisted of a number of liberal groups, including Green Party voters, anti-TPP advocates, socialists and self-described communist revolutionaries. Attendees angry with the Democratic Party shouted “Jill not Hill,” “No fracking way” (in opposition to fracking) and “Hell no, DNC, we won’t vote for Hillary.” Communist revolutionaries voiced their opposition to the entire two-party system, chanting, “F**k this voting trap that makes you believe you can make a difference.”
After Stein delivered her remarks, the crowd proceeded to march downtown toward Wells Fargo Arena, the site of the convention. Hundreds of Green Party supporters chanted “We are the 99 percent” and “This is what democracy looks like,” carrying signs opposing both Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“Both of those two choices are very, very unappealing to me,” said Karen Symnbstvebt from Philadelphia, a Sanders supporter who has already changed her voter registration to the Green Party.
“I’m crossing my fingers hoping that by some miracle Bernie will get in,” she added. “But if not, then I’m voting for Jill Stein.”