Sanders Supporters Rally in Hollywood
A group of about a hundred supporters gathered on Hollywood Blvd and marched their way down Vine St. in Los Angeles, California on Sunday. Their goal was to reach CNN’s building on Sunset Boulevard three blocks away. The conglomeration stood and listened as speakers from several progressive partisan and politically unaffiliated organizations advocated for Sanders and some of his most popular policies: medicare for all, tuition-free college, tackling homelessness, and support for Green New Deal are among a few. The march and rally was peaceful and it was close to sundown when the assembled dispersed, having chanted eagerly “Feel the Bern” and “I say Bernie, you say Sanders” throughout the day.
Five days after Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential run, it was up to the local group the “Bernie Sanders Brigade” to quickly organize the march, aiming to mobilize current and previous supporters from Sanders' 2016 campaign.
“We needed to have a quick response to show that Bernie Sanders has the grassroots people behind him,” said Carlos Marroquin, co-founder of Bernie Sanders Brigade and community activist of the Los Angeles area. “Many of the other candidates have pretty much co-opted Bernie Sanders’ message. Many will say they are for medicare for all, but when you actually ask them, just as Kamala Harris did, she backtracked everything and began using a different kind of language. Not only her, many of the other Democrats are saying certain things but they don’t actually believe in it. Bernie Sanders has been fighting for this for ten decades, it’s nothing new." Sanders, 77, has advocated for medicare reform throughout his political career, and actively continues to perpetuate this platform into his presidential runs.
The event was organized so promptly that several posters and signs had to be quickly recycled from the previous campaign, adding a 20 on top of the 16. However, this event is set to be just the first of many, since supporters of the Democratic candidate now have their high hopes renewed for the next presidential run.
“After Bernie Sanders lost in 2016, some people were demoralized, some felt betrayed, but many of us, many of our groups, we are still pretty active, fighting for the issues that he represented, that he cared about, because those are the issues that we care about so we never went away. The only difference now is that as soon as they announced [the candidacy], all we had to do was put the switch back on and have a call to action. People were just waiting for this," explained Marroquin.
As the Vermont Senator begins his second presidential campaign, he is counting on the support received from his previous run and the new voters. QR Code T-shirts to register for voting or the old-fashioned bring-a-friend-along are worthy methods used by Sanders' backers to attract more supporters.
Theresa Aguilar, a local fashion production coordinator and Sanders supporter, took the opportunity to bring her friends marching as well. “I am very excited that he has confirmed he will run again for president because I was very hopeful last time,” said Aguilar. “I agree with many of his views and I appreciate that he looks out for the people, not just one sector. And he has been very consistent with his views since he was younger, so he has proven that what he wants for the people is genuine rather than trying to say things just to gain more attention.”