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"The #DNCPlatform voted against people guaranteed healthcare. This will sentence so many to pain & suffering & worse. Disgrace," National Nurses United head RoseAnn DeMoro tweeted. (Photo: Public Citizen/flickr/cc)

Pro-Fracking, Pro-Colonialism, Anti-Single Payer: Dem Platform Disappoints

Progressives vow to 'take the fight to Philadelphia' and battle for stronger platform at Democratic Party convention

Nika Knight Beauchamp

When contentious Democratic Party platform negotiations finally came to a close late on Saturday, progressives again left disappointed. 

"I'm so disappointed that I walked out, as many of my friends as well did … [We] walked out in disgust."
—Steve Wisniewski, Communications Workers of America Local 3108
 At the committee's final meeting in Orlando, Florida, supporters of Hillary Clinton successfully voted down amendments supporting a single payer healthcare system, a nationwide ban on fracking, as well as an amendment objecting to Israel's occupation of the West Bank and characterizing the settlements as illegal.

The losses stung progressives already dismayed by the committee's refusal to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in the platform earlier that day, among other defeats.

"I'm very disappointed," said Steve Wisniewski, president of Communications Workers of America Local 3108 in Orlando, to the Orlando Sentinal. "I'm so disappointed that I walked out, as many of my friends as well did … [We] walked out in disgust."

"If the Democratic Party can't even just state that the Israeli squatter settlements are illegal, which is what the U.S. signed on to when it ratified the Geneva Conventions, then it should change its name to the Colonial Party," argued political commentator Juan Cole.

An amendment supporting renewable energy sources over fracked gas was included in the platform, which some environmentalists saw as at least a partial victory.

After such a the divisive series of meetings, the final hearing "erupted into chaos" at the end of the night, according to one attendee, when Clinton supporters proposed a "unity" amendment that would have the platform explicitly voice support for Clinton.

National Nurses United union president RoseAnn DeMoro decried the proposal as "arrogant":

Dr. Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders appointee to the committee, at one point called on progressives to "keep the pressure on" elites to bring about real change.

Sanders supporters also vowed to "take the fight to Philadelphia" to the Democratic Party convention in a last-ditch effort to pressure the party to support the progressive issues at the core of Sanders' presidential run. The convention runs from July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Those opposing the TPP are hoping to force a floor vote on the trade deal at the party's convention. Both leading Democratic candidates publicly oppose the TPP.

Progressives took to Twitter to voice their disappointment with the platform:


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