Sanders supporters protest Clinton in San Francisco

Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton is in California for a series of weekend fundraisers
  • Bernie Sanders supporters stage a loud protest outside the event
  • Their sentiment raises doubts about Clinton's ability to unite the party

San Francisco (CNN)Hillary Clinton flew to California on Friday for a series of weekend fundraisers, including two events hosted by George and Amal Clooney. Supporters of Bernie Sanders were ready.

When Clinton's motorcade turned up Washington Street in San Francisco's posh Nob Hill area Friday night, protesters chanting at the 2016 candidate were standing atop the hill.
    "Release the transcripts," they shouted, referring to Clinton's paid speeches. "Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go," yelled the group of mostly young, white protesters who tried to interrupt Clinton's event at the home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar.
    The San Francisco Police Department said it estimated 100 people attended the protest.
    While many in the crowd did not identify as Democrats, their sentiment could raise doubts that Clinton, should she win the nomination, would be able to unite the party around her.
    "There is no chance in any galaxy of anywhere, anywhere," Diaz Love, a 28-year old protester and Sanders volunteer, said when asked if she would ever vote for Clinton. "Between her and Trump, I believe that choosing between a criminal and a bigot is choosing between two evils and I don't want to participate in that."
    Tom Sliwowski, one of the organizers of the event and a devout Sanders supporter, led the protesters in a march around the home. The group banged pots and pans in hopes of disrupting the event.
    "We did this to draw the public's attention to this fundraiser," Sliwowski said. "This is complete corruption. This is evident of obvious bribery that is happening in our political system."
    Sliwowski, along with other organizers at the protest, are members of Movement for Bernie, a group of active Sanders supporters hoping to help the senator from Vermont and prevent Clinton from winning the nomination.
    Protesters throughout the crowd echoed Sliwowski when he vowed never to vote for the former first lady.
    "I would never vote for Hillary Clinton in my life," Sliwowski said. "Because what Bernie has done is, he has awakened the political consciousness and shown us we don't have to pick between the lesser of two evils."
    That was not an uncommon feeling in the crowd.
    "I won't vote for her for any reason, no," said Rebecca Boyd, a 69-year old protester who voted for Bill Clinton in the '90s but hasn't voted for a Democrat since 2004.
    As the protesters marched, some of them took the bullhorn to make announcements.
    "There are probably a lot of misogynists up that hill now," yelled Rob Rooke, a member of Movement for Bernie.
    "Including Clinton," said Rob Cotton, a 37-year old protester.
    "Yeah, including Clinton," said Rooke.
    While Sanders' campaign did not organize the protest, it did use Clinton's San Francisco event to do fundraising of its own.
    It ran an ad Friday in California titled "27" that goes after Clinton for the big-dollar fundraiser. The number refers to the average dollar donation to Sanders' campaign, something he regularly touts on the campaign trail.
    "If you can't afford to attend tonight's event with Secretary Clinton, we invite you to join Bernie's fundraiser for the low price of turning on your television," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said of the ad.
    After the San Francisco event, Clinton and the Clooneys head to Los Angeles, where the actor plans to host a fundraiser at his Studio City home Saturday night.
    Both of the Clinton-Clooney fundraisers benefit the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and a host of state Democratic parties.
    To co-host the event, a couple is asked to donate $353,400 to the fund. Single tickets cost $33,400.
    One protester outside the San Francisco event held a sign that read, "Can you spot me $353,000? I want 2B a Democrat, too."
    Other signs accused Clinton of buying support with an event that also benefits the DNC.
    Sanders' campaign, which does most of its fundraising online, has long looked to turn Clinton's reliance on in-person fundraisers into a liability, charging that the former secretary of state is disingenuous about campaign finance reform.
    Clinton backers have touted the joint fundraisers -- and the fact that Clinton is raising money for other Democrats -- as a notable difference from Sanders, who has, to date, raised close to nothing for the party.
    When asked at Thursday's Democratic presidential debate why he doesn't raise money for the Democratic Party, Sanders argued he had "raised millions" for his Democratic colleagues in the Senate. That claim, however, was rated false by CNN's Reality Check team.
    "Hillary Clinton has made it a priority to raise money for Democrats up and down the ballot and we're grateful to everyone who supports the party," said Christina Reynolds, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman. "We frequently hear about how much money Senator Sanders is raising, maybe he can send a few of those $27 donations to the DNC and state parties across the country to help the party he hopes to lead."
    Clinton also plans to headline a fundraiser in Los Angeles' Koreatown on Saturday.