Thousands of Pro-Sanders, Anti-Fracking Marchers Hit US Streets

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Thousands of demonstrators took to Philadelphia's sweltering streets, cheering, chanting and beating drums in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention, as the city wilted during a heat wave.

Thousands of demonstrators took to Philadelphia's sweltering streets, cheering, chanting and beating drums in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention, as the city wilted during a heat wave.

Throngs of Bernie Sanders supporters marched down a main thoroughfare on Sunday to show their support of him and disdain for Hillary Clinton ahead of the convention.

Chanting "Hell No, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary" and "This is what democracy looks like," the marchers headed from City Hall down Broad Street, the main north-south artery that leads from the city center to the convention site about 4 miles away.

Though planned for months, Sunday's marches came as fractures appeared in the party that had been trying to display a show of unity in recent weeks. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned Sunday as Democratic Party chair over an email suggesting the DNC had played favorites for Clinton during the primary. It was a stunning leadership shakeup as party officials gather in Philadelphia to nominate Clinton.

The Democrats had been trying to avoid the divide that was apparent in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention last week. But the hacked emails, published by Wikileaks, further fired up Sanders supporters, who long accused the party of favoring Clinton despite officially being neutral.

Sanders had called for Wasserman Schultz's resignation, and said Sunday night she made the right decision for the party's future by resigning.
Darcy Samek, 54, traveled alone from Minneapolis to protest through the four-day convention. She said Wasserman Schultz has been a "miserable failure" who needed to be gone.

"Everyone kind of knew (the Democratic party was against Bernie Sanders), but that doesn't mean it will change now that it's proven. It's just more of the same," she said, the Associated Press reported. 

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross and other officers walked alongside Sanders protesters. Ross said he liked what he saw Sunday: a peaceful protest.

Earlier Sunday, thousands of clean energy activists jammed a downtown street in their mile-long march from City Hall to Independence Hall, near the Liberty Bell. They held anti-fracking and anti-pipeline signs, some with illustrations like a train surrounded by a fireball and the words "No Exploding Trains." Others held "Bernie or Bust" signs.

Chants of "Bernie! Bernie!" were met by counter echoes of "Hillary! Hillary!"

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