While mainstream sources mainly covered the convention itself, two alumni covered the protests.
The former Editors-in-Chief of the Blackfriar Chronicle used Twitter and Periscope to share pictures and videos of the protests as they were happening. Bennett and Yankelitis shadowed DiBlasio, who has assisted the staff of The Blackfriar Chronicle with staff training for the last several years.
According to Bennett, there were a wide variety of people protesting to get their views across at the Democratic National Convention.
Bennett said he talked to a police officer about protecting someone who was protesting against the role of police. An officer told him that he wasn’t protecting the protesters but was protecting the right of free speech in America.
Bennett said most protestors wanted Bernie Sanders to be named the nominee, although there were some supporting the Green Party and Occupy D.C. activists at the protests.
Bennett said the environment was mostly people chanting and yelling, with no “actual learning” going on. “Anytime there was a debate, people got in each other’s face and yelled at each other,” he said.
Bennett said the event had an effect on his view of protesters.
“I have a lot more empathy on what gets picked up in the news,” he said. “Only violence gets picked up in the media.”
Yankelitis said the majority of protesters wanted the same thing, but were protesting under different names and for different organizations.
“The main protests were people complaining about the political system,” he said.
These complaints were largely based on the corruption of the government, and how unfairly the two party policy represents the people.
“A lot of the Bernie supporters were frustrated that the DNC was trying to meddle with the primaries,” Natalie said.
DiBlasio said there were more protesters at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio, which she also covered.
Police guarded the protests, with the Black Lives Matter protests the most heavily covered. DiBlasio said there was a large police presence that numbered in the hundreds. However, DiBlasio said there were more protestors at the RNC.
Both Bennett and Yankelitis agreed that the protests had very little effect on the DNC.
“The Democratic Party already had its platform,” Bennett said.
“People were very passionate about their beliefs and just wanted to come to the city to share their opinions,” Yankelitis said.
See more of Bennett’s convention coverage at JusticeBennett.com
Some of Bennett’s tweets from Day 2 of the DNC: