Inside the Looming Chaos of the Democrat National Convention

Masses of pro-Palestine agitators are expected to ignite a firestorm.

The story

As the August 2024 Democratic National Convention (DNC) approaches, pro-Palestine protesters have vowed to show up in droves. Demonstrations have already emerged around Chicago, the convention's host city, in what protesters call "lead-up mobilizations."

Having already caused massive headaches for Democrats — on college campuses, at President Biden’s fundraising events, and at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — protesters are expected to cause the largest disruptions to date, with as many as 30,000 expected in August.

The sides

Planned demonstrations at the convention have been compared to anti-Vietnam War protests outside the 1968 DNC, which Chicago also hosted. Police collided with thousands of protesters as the fractured Democratic Party nominated Hubert Humphrey, who lost the election to Republican Richard Nixon.

Democrats assure the public that 2024 will not mirror 1968. However, as Chicago’s mayor openly sympathizes with protesters, Democrats worry about an insufficient police presence while the city already struggles with a shortage of law enforcement staff.

Those minimizing the upcoming protests note that the 1968 demonstrations occurred under more volatile circumstances — with America directly involved in a foreign war, and following several high-profile assassinations. Although 2024’s demonstrations may create an unwanted spectacle, Democrats argue that the party is more united now than 56 years ago, with Joe Biden expected to easily secure the nomination.

Regardless, the Democrat party is indeed fractured in Israel between its older and younger demographics — where the former view the latter as radical. The prominence of antisemitic rhetoric in encampments and in protests doesn’t help.

Beyond the headlines

Last November, protesters clashed with police outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C. As the Israel-Hamas war has dragged on, pro-Palestine activists are more motivated, organized, and furious, prompting Chicago police to prepare for mass violence.

The Biden administration is avoiding large crowds because pro-Palestine activists have taken advantage of every opportunity to protest. Student-led protests occurred in 45 states, and nationwide arrests surpassed 3,000. The more protests, the worse Biden fares in the polls. Dissidents aren’t just protesting Israel — they’re also protesting Biden and the Democrat party’s moderate wing.

Battleground state Muslims have drastically shifted support from President Biden to former president Trump. In 2020, they backed Biden by a 56-35 margin. Trump flipped those numbers on their head, now leading 57-25. Not only will Palestinian-sympathetic Muslims boycott Joe Biden, but many are abandoning him for his opponent, while the Trump campaign quietly works on strategic initiatives to win them over.

Why it matters

Democrats take threats posed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators seriously and are implementing concrete measures to prevent agitators from disrupting internal party debates and proceedings. Making the convention fully virtual is even under consideration, to insulate the party from its aggrieved constituents.

If a 30,000-person protest erupts at the Democratic National Convention, Republicans will have an opportunity to spotlight national chaos under Democrat leadership. Democrats will be unable to hide from it.

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