Hillary Clinton

Philadelphia seemed united behind Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; out-of-towners, less so.

On Philadelphia’s Broad Street on Tuesday, Nevada — who didn’t give his last name — watched a march pass by from the door of a Chinese take-out joint.

Nevada, 52, was born and raised in Philadelphia. When Crikey asked who he’d vote for, he responded “Hillary” instantly.

“She’ll be the first lady president, I think she’s got the balls and power to still help this country,” he said. “I think she can do it.”

“I’m hoping for more jobs, for the black youth and people in general.
 My son’s just graduated high school, he’s got a hard time getting a job. It’s kinda stressing him, but I told him to keep his head up. That’s why there’s more black killings now, because black people haven’t got nothing to do, nothing to fall back on.”

Derrick Weathers, 53, was reading a newspaper on a stoop on Tuesday as the protesters passed. His main problem with the state of Philly right now was the lack of schools.

“When I was coming up, there was funding for schools,” said Weathers. “There should always be funding for that, y’know, especially for the kids that’s coming up behind me.”

“I dunno [if I’ll vote], man, it’s up in the air, man,” Weathers said. “There’s just so much going on and everybody got their hand in something and everything people’s got their hand in is just not right.”

[Rundle: Bernie’s bros silenced by Hillary’s historic ayeeeeeeees]

On Wednesday, Mamie Singleton, 68, was on her porch in Point Breeze with her friend Tracy Anthony, 56, and Anthony’s son. “I’m voting for [Hillary Clinton], she the best candidate out there and only a fool would vote for Donald Trump,” said Singleton.

“Philly the first place for everything,” Anthony chimed in, referring to Hillary’s historical clinching of the nomination the previous night.

“It’s time for women,” said Singleton. “Women run things, they could run this country.”

When asked about what needed to change in America, Singleton said, “for us people to be getting along together; a better understanding of each other”.

“There ain’t that much difference in your life and my life.”

In a coffee shop on Wednesday morning were Stephanie Kruger, 57, and her husband Christopher Kruger, 62 from Chicago, Illinois.

Both self-identified socialists and Bernie Sanders’ supporters. They were disappointed in Clinton’s victory. “What [Bernie Sanders] has to say is exactly what I’ve always thought … people have to have jobs, people have to have healthcare,” said Stephanie. “I won’t vote for Hillary because she’s a warmonger.”

“I would much prefer Trump,” said Christopher.

They said they would look at voting for the Greens Party candidate, Dr Jill Stein, for president, with both having a history of voting for third-party candidates.

“If there’s a duty to vote, there’s a duty to vote for the best person, not pick a winner,” said Christopher. “You wanna pick a winner you go to a Red Sox game in Cleveland and pick who’s going to win, that’s not what voting is. Voting is you’re expressing your views to the best person.”

Their views were shared by Jack Prince, 66, who travelled from Michigan to show support for Sanders. On Tuesday, he was part of a small group trying to find a Clinton luncheon.

“We don’t think Hilary Clinton will further the cause of democracy when her candidacy in the primaries was built on deceit,” said Prince, referring to the recent DNC email leaks.

“Sanders is my candidate because he, uniquely, like no other candidate in my lifetime is pointing at the root of our problem in our country and that is plutocracy.”

Protests throughout the week were relatively subdued, a police captain had enough time to share with Crikey his favourite Philly cheesesteak spot.

On Tuesday, a march grew tense after protesters learned Clinton had won, but it dissipated at the gates of the convention centre before midnight. Downtown, overseeing the collection of protests outside City Hall on Tuesday, was Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross.

“[I’m hoping for] a peaceful convention without any issues, without anyone getting hurt, without any property damage and maybe, some resolution to some of the issues some of these groups have”.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey