Rosario Dawson Is Ready to Get Arrested at the Democratic National Convention

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Rosario Dawson.
Rosario Dawson.Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

Rosario Dawson says she was just taking one for the team when she was arrested in Washington, D.C., this past April, along with hundreds of “Democracy Spring” protesters.

“It was very purposeful,” Dawson told the Cut last night at a Friar’s Club tribute honoring Tony Bennett. “I had been watching the arrests online, but I wasn’t seeing it anywhere in the media and it was like, That’s crazy. But [getting arrested] did really make an impact. It started to make noise, it started to make people pay attention.”

Would she get arrested again? We asked. “Oh, yeah. Yeah,” she said. “I am definitely going to the DNC, and I’ll definitely be protesting outside of the DNC.”

A vocal Bernie Sanders supporter, Dawson is protesting “everything basically.” But specifically, “The collusion between the media and the Hillary Clinton campaign … the terrible debate structure … how they have structured this entire election … we want to get rid of super delegates … we want open primaries … universal health care, education … pretty much everything that we had behind Bernie Sanders.”

Dawson actually spent the past weekend at a conference in Chicago, training others “to do civil disobedience properly.” She guided her comrades through mock-protest scenarios, and prepared them for the emotional toll of the slammer.

“It’s about talking to people through the whole process,” she says. “How they felt chanting together, arms locking, how they felt when we started taking people to arrest them. It is really good to take them through all of that. It is an emotional thing, and you are going to be surrounded by potentially a million people. It is really intense,” she says.

“I came in at the very end, and pretended to be a cop and arrest some folks, and pick them up and put them away. It’s really fascinating because it is fake, but the energy is really high, and you all talk about it afterwards. Someone in my line got arrested, and I felt really stressed because I knew they were coming for me next, but then we sang louder, and we chanted louder, and we gripped each other louder, and it just felt good we were together.”

At the moment, Dawson remains devoted to Bernie. “I have never gotten behind any candidate before,” she says. “I was actually inspired to get behind Bernie, I don’t see that just shifting over to anybody, but I’m about the issues and the people.”