Thanks to a perfect storm convergence of a 15k race, nice weather, Smorgasburg and a huge Bernie Sanders rally, Prospect Park was a sight to behold yesterday. The Sanders rally drew an estimated 28,000 people, according to amNY, the campaign’s largest rally yet. It’s no surprise Bernie fandom is high in certain parts of Brooklyn, his hometown, and he hammered home his trendy appeal by bringing Grizzly Bear as his opening act and appearing with fellow hip old guy Danny DeVito (who introduced Bernie as “our Obi-Wan”) and human MacBook Justin Long. It was a colorful event, full of lots of artsy expressions of #feelingthebern. Sanders himself addressed healthcare, the environment and the wage gap. Here’s what the scene looked like:
OH at Prospect Park: "oh my god. Smorgasburg and Bernie. Agh-mazing." pic.twitter.com/tNAnjbmtTH
— Lauren Gambino (@laurenegambino) April 17, 2016
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ A photo posted by ALISON MARIE ISBELL (@alisonmarieisbell) on
The line 4 the Bernie rally at Prospect Park is SICKER than the line last Thursday in Manhattan! pic.twitter.com/wo1mkm30Fx
— Organized Chaos (@orgchaosmedia) April 17, 2016
HappySUNday ☀️ #BrooklynforBernie #smorgasburg A photo posted by Ṕ∃ℕℕ¥. Ḻ∀ℕ∃. (@djpenny_lane) on
Brooklyn in the park. #feelthebern @a.stranjj.past ・・・ #berniegangstas #brooklynforbernie #brooklynisberning #fuckitiguessimademocraticsocialist #nyforbernie #bernie2016 #prospectpark #rally #feelthebern #votebernie #futuretobelievein #politicalrevolution A photo posted by #feelthebern (@millennialsforbernie) on
Rallying – #feeltheBern #BernieSanders #Bernieforpresident #Brooklyn A photo posted by @ugretchen on
All ready for @berniesanders with our #momsforbernie and #daughtersforbernie homemade gear and signs! A photo posted by jomceniry (@jomceniry) on
Danny DeVito and Justin Long
— Joy Marie (@JoyMarie007) April 18, 2016
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 18, 2016
Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear 🐻 A photo posted by Ellen Qbertplaya (@qbertplaya) on
— BrooklynVegan (@brooklynvegan) April 17, 2016
Squaded up deep behind Bernie today ! #NBCNEWS #Brooklyn #ProspectPark A photo posted by Bekim Trenova (@bekimtrenova) on
Addressing the wage gap
— Andrew Jerell Jones (@sluggahjells) April 17, 2016
Talking about marijuana laws
FEELING THE BERN @berniesanders #berniesanders #nyc #bernie A video posted by Erica Severson (@ericasev) on
Some more observations from our man on the ground, Daniel Benny, a 25-year-old LA-based account strategist at Google and a Bernie supporter who flew in just to canvass in the leadup to the NYC primaries:
The spread of the rally crowd:
You could feel the energy emanating of this rally miles before the park, walking up to the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Transit Station, a fierce organizing of laid off Verizon workers were making their voices heard. I stopped to cheer them on and a woman gave me a strong “Go Bernie!” as I traded a Bernie flyer for her Union’s literature.
Hug the Bern:
Some guys with Free hugs sign convinced us to take part and “Give five hugs and pass it on”. We obliged.
Talk of the Nation:
A couple women who write for “The Nation” the first major publication to endorse Bernie stood next to me. Asked them if the choice to endorse Bernie was a tough one in the office and they gave me a resounding “Nope!”
Boos for a 7-year-old:
The speakers after the music included political commentator Sally Kohn who told us her 7-year-old daughter was a Hillary supporter because she wanted a woman president, but warned the crowd not to dare boo her (which some unfortunately could not help themselves too). She spoke about how she had not endorsed either candidate until that moment when she took the stage. She talked about how she thinks Hillary would do a great job on 90 percent of the issues she cares about, but the 10 percent left was the most important (Amending Citizens United, Energy reform, etc.).
A local endorsement:
City Councilman Jumaane Williams (who represents East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands and Midwood) took the stage and endorsed Bernie: “Some say Bernie Sanders and his supports is at war reality…..you’re goddamn right.”
Whichever candidate you support, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!