WASHINGTON (CNN) - Supporters of Barack Obama’s presidential bid are planning to demonstrate outside the Saturday meeting in Washington where Democratic officials are slated to debate the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the party’s summer convention.
The move comes days after backers of Hillary Clinton’s White House run announced plans to converge on the Washington, D.C. hotel where members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee are meeting.
“Hillary Clinton's supporters are going to be bussing in protestors for the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, so it's critical that we show up for the counter-protest,” wrote on organizer in a post on the Daily Kos Web site Tuesday morning.
Last week, the pro-Clinton Committee to Count Every Vote said it was organizing a day-long May 31 rally outside the RBC meeting.
“Our purpose is not to divide the party or attack the DNC or Senator Obama. Michigan and Florida, however, in addition to Hillary's strong support nationwide, cannot and must not be dismissed in DNC efforts to unify the party.”
The group said it was organizing buses to carry protestors to the meeting site, and could offer some overnight housing for those who could not afford to pay for accommodations.
Earlier this month, Clinton told a group of bloggers who support her candidacy that she encouraged efforts to lobby the committee.
“I thank you for zeroing in on the May 31 meeting. There will be a lot of activity around that meeting,” she said on a conference call, adding that it was “important your voices are heard” by DNC members.
A limited number of seats inside Saturday’s meeting were scheduled to be made available by the DNC at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday – but as of 10 minutes after the hour, all those seats had been claimed. Limited same-day registration will be available as space permits, according to the party’s Web site.
Those who make it inside will have to abide by strict guidelines banning “banners, posters, signs, handouts, and noisemakers of any kind” – and they won’t have a chance to weigh in, since there is no allowance for public comment.
Clinton’s campaign has pushed for both the Florida and Michigan delegations to be seated in full in accordance with the results of their January primaries, which were not sanctioned by the DNC because they were scheduled early in defiance of party instructions. Clinton was the only major candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan, and won both contests.
The DNC, state Democratic parties and both presidential campaigns have said that they are eager for a compromise that would allow both Florida and Michigan to send delegations to the party’s nominating convention in Denver – but all sides stress that the solution would have to be acceptable to both campaigns.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod signaled in an interview last week that the Illinois senator might be willing to consider a compromise that would give a slight advantage to Clinton.