The donkey sculptures were beautiful and all, but a group of local advocates thought there was “something missing.”
“It was the crappiness of the party platform,” says Sam Bernhardt, a senior organizer at Food and Water Watch, a national research and advocacy organization.
And so, one relatively stealth weekend operation later, roughly 20 of the DNC donkeys received a … deposit of sorts. They have paper maché poop under them. “Definitely an unusual action for us, for sure,” he says with a laugh. “We saw a peculiar opportunity to send our message to the DNC and we took it.”
In Orlando this weekend the Democratic Platform Committee held a two-day drafting meeting for the document, which represents the issues the party will campaign upon through November. NBC News called it the end result the “most progressive platform in party history.”
Food and Water Watch had been pushing for a plank that would support banning fracking. While the platform is against fracking where local residents aren’t for it, no formal pro-ban language is in there.
“They chose to advance the interests of fossil fuel industry,” Sam Bernhardt, a senior organizer at Food and Water Watch, tells Billy Penn. The omission ignores not only the “reality of science, but also their constituents. We know that most Democrats want a ban on fracking,” he says. (Only one quarter of Democrats support fracking, according to a Gallup poll this spring, while a slight majority of all Americans opposes it.)
Last week, Bernhardt and colleagues had toyed with the idea of mounting a protest like this one.
“We thought about other things that people would associate with donkeys,” he says. “We decided that it made the most the sense for what donkeys actually do and the situation we’re in.”
The paper maché “donkey craps” were made by a team of artists and volunteers. The group had been making art for the upcoming March for a Clean Energy Revolution that will take place Sunday after next. When the amendment didn’t go through, they moved forward with the idea.
“We will not have donkey crap at our march,” says Bernhardt. “In all seriousness, we’re going to have people coming from all over expressing regional identities, personal identities… It’s going to be sort of bold and visually beautiful.”