April 14, 2016
Rosario Dawson, Spike Lee, and New York City rockers Vampire Weekend set the stage last night in Greenwich Village for Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Upwards of 25,000 people descended upon Washington Square Park on a chilly Manhattan evening and patiently shuffled their way to airport-style security checkpoints manned by NYPD and Secret Service agents where backpacks, purses, and pockets were emptied and inspected.
But in contrast to the heavy security precautions, the overflow crowd was more reminiscent of a 60’s scene in that same location – plenty of peace, love, and understanding and little evidence of the partisan rancor that’s characterized this year’s Presidential campaign. The speakers however were another story. This was, after all, a political campaign rally, and firing up the masses is why they’re even held.
And on that score, they didn’t disappoint. Speaker after speaker trashed both Clinton and Trump, Sanders’ main rivals. City Councilman Tom Duane favorably compared Sanders to Clinton and a CWA officer praised Sanders for supporting them in their strike against Verizon. Earlier in the day Sanders had walked a picket line with striking Verizon workers.
Sanders and his wife, Jane were greeted with a prolonged ovation when they appeared onstage, and drew howls of approval after noting that they were originally from New York and proclaiming that it was great to be back.