Why Washington delegates disrupted the Democratic National Convention | KUOW News and Information

Why Washington delegates disrupted the Democratic National Convention

Jul 28, 2016

Nick Vaidyanathan of Seattle helped shout down former CIA director Leon Panetta at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night – and he's not sorry about it.

The Bernie Sanders delegate said the chant "No More War" began in the Oregon delegation as Panetta took the podium.

"I thought it was a very positive message," he said Thursday morning. "It's not a personal attack, it's not a denigration. It's really a statement of the people's perspective when it comes to this issue."

As the chant grew louder and persisted, Panetta appeared rattled. Then the house lights over the protesters were turned off.

"Some ingenious people over there actually lifted their cell phones and got their flashes going so they could still be seen," Vaidyanathan said.

"We got some direction from a coordinator that if we continued in the chant we would be removed from the building."

He called the convention a "four-day staged commercial" for the nominee.

"Any voice of dissent is treated with a certain level of concern," he said. "I came to the Democratic National Convention to convene as a delegate. I expected to have conversation with other delegates and to participate in the democratic process."

He said Bernie Sanders supporters are seeing their concerns being dismissed or treated with animosity. He said the choice of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee was a slap against progressives.

"These kind of things we look at and say, 'Wow, do you care about bringing in Bernie Sanders supporters at all?'" he said. "So we wanted to make the message heard. And that's what we did."