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DNC Day 1: Outside the Wisconsin Center looks like a ghost town

Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 19:23:17-04

MILWAUKEE — The Democratic National Convention has begun in Milwaukee. However, the normal fanfare and large crowds that are synonymous
with political conventions were nowhere to be found.

Very few people were outside the Wisconsin Center Monday. Some came to take photos of empty streets. Others walked around the security perimeter in awe of the lack of people.

"What's most disappointing is the city made a big face lift and nobody can see it. That's shameful," Bill Speelberg said.

He came equipped with a camera to document the historic convention. Instead, all he could see was a for-the-most-part empty building with police officers standing guard outside.

50,000 people were expected to come to Milwaukee for the DNC. After a postponement and making it virtual, barely anyone has traveled to the city.

Since the convention became primarily virtual due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, there is no reason for much of the same type of fanfare to ensue. Although, that didn't stop a few protesters from showing up.

"I came to support several causes, not the least of which is the legalization of cannabis in Wisconsin," Mark Kelderman from Brownsville, Wisconsin said.

He came with two other people hoping to link up with a larger demonstration. By 4:30 p.m. there were no signs of any type of protest.

"Regardless of the number of people that are here or the weather, we'll be here. Black Lives Matters too," Kelderman said.

Jaime Salazar came all the way from Toledo, Ohio to protest.

Jaime Salazar from Toledo, Ohio being interviewed by Bulgarian news service BG Voice outside the Wisconsin Center.

"Oh on the half of Bernie Sander. Someone had to be out here for him," Salazar said.

Even though there weren't any demonstrations by the early evening, his spirits are still high and will be in Milwaukee through Thursday night.

"I'm going to toughen it out no matter what someones gotta be here for bernie," Salazar said.

The 2020 DNC is a far cry from what the City of Milwaukee expected when it was first announced. Around 50,000 people were estimated to be coming to Milwaukee. However, after the convention was pushed back a month and made to be primarily virtual, not many people have come to Milwaukee.

One of the only things that could be seen within the security perimeter of the DNC was police officers.

However, the scaled-back DNC is still bringing international attention to Milwaukee. ZDF a German news station and BG Voice a Bulgarian news service were in Milwaukee covering the DNC.

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