Photos and words Samantha Williams
Just days before the New York Primary, Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders invited supporters to Washington Square Park on April 13th to a rally concert. Potential voters and supporters poured in around the stage and around the entire park. Some supporters dressed up, held homemade signs, or wore stickers…one supporter even made a Bernie Sanders puppet that he held in the air. However, people on strike from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) attended the event with their signs for support of better wages for workers, including Verizon Wireless. The event started at around 5:30pm, where the campaign coordinator spoke to the crowd. Following the coordinator, the band “Vampire Weekend” took the stage and performed for the audience. Right after them, guest speakers were there to pump up the crowd including Rosario Dawson and Spike Lee. Spike Lee started a chant for Sanders and soon after, Sanders appeared on stage.
The ambiance of the event was exciting and the crowd cheered at any possible moment that they could, along with boos for the ideals of other candidates in the race. Signs that were made included “Feminist Mermaids,” “I Support Bernie because black lives always mattered…not just when it became election year,” “Boomers for Bernie,” and of course, “Feel the Bern.” One couple even made signs impersonating Sanders’ face with a cutout for anyone to take a selfie with. Another women dyed some of her dog’s fur in honor of Sanders.
Supporter Leah Gindez is from the era of Baby Boomers and created the sign, “Boomers for Bernie.” She felt it was very important to express that it wasn’t just millennials that were speaking up for Sanders, but older people and activists as well.
“It’s the boomers, it’s the grey panthers, it’s what’s left of the black panthers maybe. It’s all of us together who need to speak up and be heard.” She said.
Although Baby Boomers did attend, so did the millennials. Some of which who were 18 years old or will be 18 years old by the November, the month to vote. One student was Julian Snyder who will be turning 18 along with his friends. He said that he is excited to vote for Sanders as his first Presidential vote. Another student, Olivier Plummer said he loved Sanders for his support in minorities and “Black Lives Matter.”
One common characteristic that most voters said was that Bernie Sanders told the truth and was liable. Many also thought it was disappointing that Sanders lacked publicity compared to the other candidates. Sanders spoke to the crowd for over an hour discussing issues the country faces and how he will improve or fix them. Sanders also supported the CWA strike saying “this was another American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.” He also talked of his opponent, Hilary Clinton’s strategies in which the crowed unanimously “booed.” After his speech, the crowd left chanting and one person even played his guitar in honor of Sanders until his fingers bled all over his guitar. He twisted Bob Marley’s hit, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” into a Bernie Sanders remix singing “Don’t Worry Vote Bernie.” Throughout the entire rally, it was obvious that the people who attended were definitely “Feeling the Bern.”