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Camp Bernie: DNC Protesters Booking New Jersey Campgrounds



    With no camping available in Philly, pro-Bernie Sanders protesters plan on camping in South Jersey during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia next month. (Published Thursday, June 9, 2016)

    Hundreds of pro-Bernie Sanders protesters at the Democratic National Convention next month in South Philadelphia will rally by day outside the Wells Fargo Center and sleep under the stars by night.

    Two campgrounds in southern New Jersey have already sold out their tent and RV sites, according to one of the lead organizers of a group called Occupy DNC Convention.

    Timberlane Campground in Clarksboro and Old Cedar Campground in Monroeville are full, said Laurie Cestnick, a Boston-area neuroscientist and a leading organizer of protests planned during the DNC week of July 24-28.

    A third South Jersey campground called Four Seasons is next on the list of sites for protesters' temporary tent cities, Cestnick said.

    When asked how many she expected to camp out during the DNC, she said "several thousand."

    "Not sure how many [exactly], but we booked them solid and have moved on to Four Seasons now," Cestnick said of Timberlane and Old Cedar.

    Four Seasons has about 400 camp plots, which makes it larger than the other two. Old Cedar and Timberlane are in Gloucester County. Old Cedar is roughly 25 miles from the Wells Fargo Center and Timberlane is about 16 miles from the sports complex.

    Four Seasons in Salem County is about 30 miles from the convention.

    Cestnick said buses are booked to take protesters to and from the protests at FDR Park, which is across South Broad Street from the convention inside the sports arena.

    The campgrounds will offer cheap alternatives to protesters expected to flock to Philadelphia from across the country.

    Other pro-Sanders protest groups also involved in rallies throughout the week of the convention said they are exploring the option of campgrounds and also the creation of pop-up camp sites.

    A spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney said this week that temporary camp sites within city limits is not on the table.

    "We’re not granting camping permits," Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said Tuesday.