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Philadelphia prepares for Bernie Sanders rallies and supporters by the thousands

041216_Sanders Rally_Albany_TCO_5357While political pundits focus on the battle between presumptive political rivals Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the City of Philadelphia is preparing for not only the Democratic Convention, but a host of rallies, marches and demonstrations by supporters of Democratic Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

The local NBC affiliate reported on Friday that the City of Philadelphia had approved multiple permits for rallies and marches to coincide with the opening and daily activities of the Democratic National Convention in July.

 The clean energy group Food & Water Watch was approved to march on the city on July 24 when an expected 5,000 environmental activists will gather at City Hall and proceed down Market Street to Independence Mall.
Sanders supporters in Albany vie for a position to see the Democratic Presidential Candidate. An overflow crowd of thousands crowded streets outside Albany's Armory. (Photo Tracey C. O'Neill)

Sanders supporters in Albany vie for a position to see the Democratic Presidential Candidate. An overflow crowd of thousands crowded streets outside Albany’s Armory. (Photo Tracey C. O’Neill)

“The nation’s spotlight will shine on Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. Over the past decade, Pennsylvania and many states have suffered negative impacts from intensive drilling and fracking. Many residents have been sickened; water, air and land have been polluted and poisoned. Philadelphia itself is pummeled with environmental injustices related to the fossil fuel industry, including a refinery that is the largest single consumer of Bakken shale oil,” the organization wrote on it’s website.

Spokesman and senior organizer for the group, Sam Bernhardt was not immediately available. The FWWMarch for a Clean Energy Revolution will kick off at noon on the day thousands of delegates, party supporters, politicos and press descend upon the City of Brotherly Love.

According to reports, four pro-Sanders groups were approved on Wednesday, with an estimated 38,000 supporters expected at public demonstrations during the convention that will take place July 25-28. The Wall Street Journal reported that one event permit was for a four day, all-day rally at FDR Park in support of Sanders, the progressive senator from Vermont. The city said it expected 30,000 participants, with organizers telling Wall Street Journal that they hoped the turnout would be higher.

On Friday, organizers of the DC to DNC March for Democracy announced on their FaceBook page that they had secured all necessary permits for their demonstration in the City. Organizers posted that they were awaiting permitting from the National Parks and Recreation to release the last four. Those permits were said to be for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park dates July 24th, 26th, 27th and 28th. The ten-day event will begin at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and end at the convention in Philadelphia.

“Bernie Sanders has worked for over thirty years in the fight to protect our freedoms. He has fought against the rising tide and this time he is fighting against the whole establishment. But its different this time: he has back up. He has real American Patriots fighting for what’s right and we are willing to fight for to take Back our DEMOCRACY,” wrote the event founder, Ed Higgins.

Wednesday’s approved permits were 5 of 9 received.

This article first appeared on on May 20, 2016.


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