‘No on TPP': Hecklers disrupt Obama’s DNC speech

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the third night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 27, 2016. © Mike Segar
President Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday highlighted the need for party unity and long term commitment to changing the political system. However, his speech was upstaged by TPP protesters and other noisy audience members.

Early into his speech, Obama covered many of the tragedies that have befallen the nation during his presidency. “There are pockets of America that never recovered in factory closures,” he said as one loud voice shouted out “No more TPP!” Quieter protesters held up anti-TPP signs during his speech.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is supported by Barack Obama; so much so that some have speculated that he had hoped it would be a lasting legacy of his administration.

The partnership is a trade pact that was negotiated in secret establishing regulations between 12 countries in the Pacific Basin. Its opponents say these regulations would undermine jobs in the US and work to the benefit of corporations rather than nations their workers. Bernie Sanders is a strong opponent of TPP, while Clinton first supported the pact, but then distanced herself from it as Sanders’ popularity grew.

The final DNC platform does not include opposition to TPP – a fact which has caused a number of Democratic voters to stage protests.

This was not the first time protesters have brought up the TPP. The chant was something of a refrain during this particularly heated DNC.

Obama plowed ahead through his speech, but gave Sanders’ supporters a brief shout out saying, “If you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy and too much money in our politics, then we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters have been during this election,” while adding, “that’s right, feel the Bern!

However, the lack of decorum displayed by TPP protesters was nothing compared to that shown by one unidentified audience member who, based on social media, knows nothing of social graces or indoor etiquette. In fact, the hatred expressed towards this person on social media may even rival that reserved for the TPP.

This man – nay, this monster – became known on Twitter as the “wolf whistle guy.” No one liked the wolf whistle guy.

The third place runner up for loudest audience member was the cowbell guy – a person who seemingly decided it was appropriate to bring a cowbell to the president’s speech.