With the recent string of police violence across the country, more protests in the city during the Democratic National Convention could mean tension, but a group of Bernie Sanders supporters are showing police their appreciation for the men and women in blue who are going to keep them safe.
The Democratic National Convention is just days away and along with delegates and officials, protesters are coming from all over the country to let their voices be heard. To let Philadelphia Police know they are coming peacefully and do not plan to cause trouble during the DNC, the Sanders supporters have decided to send postcards to police to let them know they appreciate them and thank them in advance for their work.
“Either they will be touched by the gesture, or see it as a hassle for them to deal with,” explains Danielle Jessica Pellett, an admin of the group. “All we can do is send forth positive energy and hope it’s received well.”
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The plan was originally started by Russell Lytle in order to reinforce a message of peace in Philadelphia during the convention. He created a group on Facebook which grew quickly and is still adding members as the convention nears. The group of over 1,000 has sent post cards expressing their thanks for the work police do to keep people safe.
“Sending these postcards is a tangible way to reach out in solidarity to the police, to let them know, sincerely, that we appreciate their efforts to ensure our safety while we are there,” says Joleen Grussing, a Bernie Sanders supporter. “It’s a tough job, policing demonstrations. I have a cousin who is a police captain in Georgia, and I know there are fears on both sides of the situation.”
Pellett says the group has not seen any response from the police, but also did not expect any and just wanted to do something positive for the people keeping them safe. As tensions between police and protesters become hotter across the country, supporters hope this token of appreciation is a step to maintaining calm.
“I hope the postcards will predispose the police to anticipate nonviolence and will set the stage for mutual respect between the police and demonstrators,” says Grussing.
More information on the project can be found at the Bernie Sanders Postcards to the Philadelphia Police Department Facebook page.