I got my chance to attend my first U.S. presidential rally today, in Seattle for Bernie Sanders, only weeks after I became a U.S. citizen. To say it was historic is an understatement, there were more than 20K people all around Seattle Center who showed up for the rally. The diversity and age of people was incredible and way better than I expected, based on what the mainstream media had been reporting for Sanders supporters. I heard about seven different languages, just around me, in line. So, don’t let those spin doctors fool you.
After five hours of waiting in the rain, Brian and I did not think we would get in, given the rate at which things were moving with two doors and two metal detectors. But we persisted. We got in before the speech was over, and experienced the last half of an amazing rally for Bernie Sanders [watch the full speech here]. Seattle crowd is known to be loud and they made sure of it when they heard issues they cared about. Women’s Rights got YUGE applause and cheers, and also when Sanders reminded people to caucus. It was incredible to witness the rock star treatment a 74 year old senator was getting. I loved that they play David Bowie’s Starman when Sanders exits his rallies. It’s so great to see stereotypes being broken! We feel fortunate to have made it in, when so many were left outside after waiting for hours just like we did. A note to organizers: opening doors way earlier may have helped.
This was the biggest presidential primary rally Seattle has seen since one in 2008 for Barack Obama. I’ve attended many political events in my life in the U.S., but it was a sweet feeling to be out there showing my support as a citizen.
I honestly did not expect to get any good images while being packed in a sea of people, with no room to maneuver a camera. But I did manage to capture signs and posters around me, and toward the end we got up close to the Senator as he was leaving. I thought these shots were worth sharing for the sake of history and my personal journal — a day to remember and a story to tell in the future. I am ready to caucus in WA state!
[click on the images to view them in a slideshow]