Rallies, Marches And A 'Fart-In': Philadelphia Gets Ready For The DNC As Democrats prepare for their convention in Philadelphia, protesters are preparing too. Bernie Sanders supporters and others are organizing rallies around the city.
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Rallies, Marches And A 'Fart-In': Philadelphia Gets Ready For The DNC

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Rallies, Marches And A 'Fart-In': Philadelphia Gets Ready For The DNC

Rallies, Marches And A 'Fart-In': Philadelphia Gets Ready For The DNC

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ELISE HU, HOST:

The Democratic convention starts tomorrow in Philadelphia. And protesters, they're already gathering. The city has issued more than two dozen permits for rallies and marches. As NPR's Jeff Brady found, you name a cause and there will probably be a protest.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Permit applicants range from an anti-gay church to the group Black Men for Bernie. So you have to be creative to stand out. That's why Cheri Honkla with the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign is gathering some unusual supplies.

CHERI HONKALA: Bush's baked beans - we have kidney beans.

BRADY: There are cases of donated beans lined up in Honkala's office. She plans to feed them to protesters on the last night of the convention when Hillary Clinton accepts her party's nomination.

HONKALA: We thought that this process really stinks, so we decided to organize a national fart-in.

BRADY: Honkala doesn't like that only two political parties dominate American politics. Look at the city's list of protest permits, and most are held by people who wanted Bernie Sanders to become president. In fact, one Sanders supporter secured 4 of the 6 permits available for a park across from the arena where Democrats will meet. His name is Billy Taylor and he works out of a rundown warehouse outside Philadelphia.

BILLY TAYLOR: This is the room that we have all the volunteers in.

BRADY: There are Bernie for president signs everywhere. Taylor says the city made protest permits in the park available on a first-come-first-served basis.

TAYLOR: Once I heard that, I went out and I booked everything possible.

BRADY: And why did you want multiple permits?

TAYLOR: Oh, in case Sanders needed space, we'd have permits all for the Sanders campaign. And there was another reason as well. I wanted to stop any Hillary supporters from obtaining permits.

BRADY: The last time a big political party held its convention in Philadelphia was the year 2000 when Republicans nominated George W. Bush. Police were aggressive back then. They infiltrated protest groups with undercover officers, arrested hundreds of people and even raided a workshop where protesters built props for their marches. This convention, Police Commissioner Richard Ross says the city will cooperate with protesters.

RICHARD ROSS: We don't really have an interest in criminalizing a bunch of people who are out peacefully protesting.

BRADY: The city has relaxed some of its ordinances. Crimes like disorderly conduct will get a citation rather than an arrest. And Ross says officers will not show up in riot gear as long as things remain peaceful. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Philadelphia.

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