[Veronica Lawlor] Last Wednesday afternoon, I met my friend Margaret Hurst at the entrance to Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan, to scope out where we would draw during the rally for Bernie Sanders, vying for the Democratic nomination for President of the USA. And what did we find? People were already beginning to line up! So we took our place and waited with the rest of the quickly growing crowd for the cops to open the park gates and let us all in.
The crowd was mixed, made up predominantly of younger college aged supporters with a healthy sprinkling of older hippies. The people waiting in line were passionate - and peaceful! I enjoyed hearing their spirited discussions of Bernie's policies. The man in the center of the drawing above, wearing the hoodie, was still undecided between Bernie and Hillary Clinton, and the other students were making their case to convince him to #feelthebern along with them.
As five o'clock rolled around, we looked back in awe at the growing line as we made out way through the metal detectors and into the park to find out spots. Helicopters circled overhead, and the energy of the crowd began to swell.
Actor/director Tim Robbins called Bernie an unusual politician because he has "a moral bottom line." Other speakers included actors, union leaders, and many other politicians and activists, who all talked about Bernie's ideals, and how they related to him.
When Bernie Sander got up to the podium, the crowd went crazy, and was definitely "feelin' the bern!" Cheering and waving of signs went on for quite a while before Bernie could speak. As he spoke, the mountain of media behind us photographed, videotaped, and recorded every word.
Bernie Sanders talked to the crowd about access to healthcare, paid family leave, tuition free public colleges, and about fighting racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Bernie called for a movement to put the country in the hands of the people, and out of the control of the billionaires and corporations. He urged the crowd to come out, vote, and make a difference.
Bernie Sanders talked passionately about his dream, the dream of a 'social democrat' to bring dignity and pride to all people in the United States. Too idealistic? I don't think so. It's possible, if the people of the United States vote, and want to make it happen.