In Search of Bernie: Prelude and Beyond


The moment of focus for this post will go back to August twenty first of this year, but I may jump ahead in time just to mention some of the madness that follows my intent to see Bernie Sanders. I’m trying to play catch-up with all the atypical insane shit that surrounds us. Natural disasters greater than ever recorded. A United States President with unprecedented behavior, possibly due to an inbred culture, something similar to what’s witnessed when dogs get bred too much along a bad lineage…mutant minded pups. So with hurricanes and out of control fires tearing up the landscape and causing people to struggle, I go back to Monday, August 21, the day of the total eclipse.

When the actual eclipse started hitting Indianapolis, I was on the city bus headed West on an errand; a pre-engagement before the downtown Circle Monument rally featuring current Senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. He’s the only successful Independent Party politician in the Senate right now, a rare bird with knowledge, charisma and resilience. I had a camera and would rely on my phone to be the notepad. Take notes, get the shots, evaluate stats on crowd size and variety…it’s like bird watching to me, in a way. I’m there for observation more than personal involvement. If you get too close to the subjective persuasion a rally of any political or religious flavor has, it can ruin your objectivity to record what’s happening. I try to be objective. Some who read my posts may detect bits of bias now and then, but I try to allow individuals to be judged on their actions, rather than my assumptions. Yet, as hard as I try to stay objective, some people out there have pulled me into situations. The next thing I know, I could end up holding a protest sign that says “Fuck the Police”, a situation I got thrown into in Denver, Colorado during the Occupy Denver era. My current Bernie rally incident this post recalls wasn’t as magnificent as the ‘fuck the police’ sign thing, but I found out it did confirm what I had seen posted online. I needed to experience that in person, if I truly wanted to stay objective. I wanted a whiff of what the political scene was here in town after the masses had a few days to chew on the incident that erupted in Charlottesville. What would Bernie offer to the crowd?

Following the eclipse viewing in Indy, clouds moved in and spotty rain hit the bricked circle street as I arrived. I had time before Sanders would speak to wander the crowd. Background music was being provided by some bearded dudes strumming on trendy ukuleles and stringed shit that gave you the feel of a Phish concert-not that I’m against Phish concerts, they are great for when you need one, but my mind was on trying to get some shots and wondering where the best area to stand to get a shot of the Senator would be. I had no fucking idea what route they were going to make in order to pull him up to the podium. I needed some voodoo to make sure and place me on the right side of the audience. Crowds can be like enamored zombie pig things when politicians or famous people gather out in public, close enough for them to see, close enough to experience-hard to navigate through the closer you get to a celebrity. I could just imagine myself talking to someone like the ultra-pregnant girl with a huge henna tattoo on her stomach (I met), and all of a sudden, Bernie whisks by and the moment is missed. I needed a backup for photos, like Miguel…but he wouldn’t be here today. The good news for me was the crowd size wasn’t too intimidating, about 400-500 Sanders supporters and about a dozen Trump supporters/Left Wing opposition. I could get my shot of Sanders in this size crowd. Getting close enough shouldn’t be too difficult.

My initial positioning took me to the left side of the stage as I watched the big group of the Jobs in America team, assembled on the steps of the monument. This was their drive, with the help and backing of Sanders, to protect the rights of workers in America. A worthy cause and not the typically recent, in fashion attempt to arm a crowd against the Crimson King, aka Donald Trump. Sanders would be endorsing and working in cooperation with representatives of Good Jobs Nation, advocates for higher wages and better opportunities for federal contract workers.

The crowd was ready and I was no more than thirty yards or so from the podium. I wanted to keep my timing on pace. Grab some shots of Bernie speaking, maybe some of the pre-speakers, wander through the crowd another time or two and definitely go over and talk to the opposition. The small group of Those who support the Crimson King were huddled on the outskirts of the gathered crowd. Signs for Sanders followers were demanding fifteen dollars an hour wages and a Union. The Trump people had signs urging you to get a Trump/Pence sign from them. A few ladies stood holding the signs and next to them was a flag I had become familiar learning about not too long ago at another downtown crowd meeting. It was the Identity Evropa flag.



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