Over 10,000 San Diegans packed into the San Diego Convention Center on Tuesday March 22 in order to hear Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders speak. The line stretched for over a mile long, wrapping all the way around the harbor. Supporters, from all over Southern California, came as early as 5 a.m. and waited for as long as 15 hours to catch a glimpse of Sanders. Among the crowd of supporters included a part of MC’s very own Red Sea.
Sundevils supporting Sanders made the trip downtown, with some even leaving before the school day ended. Seniors Nick Dranovsky, Monica Lopez, and Brandon Mojica departed MC, arriving at the convention center around 1:30 p.m. However, this entailed over a three-hour wait until the doors to the hall even opened, and a grand total of seven hours before Sanders would speak.
“It sucked because once they let us in, they didn’t let us sit down,” Mojica said. “That was probably the worst part because we were already tired from the five hours from waiting outside. Not until [Sanders] almost got there, there was no music, there was really nothing to do, just talk and stand there. We’d always be on our phones and then our phones would die. […] But once he got there, the energy picked up.”
However, for Mojica, it was worth the wait. Due to their early arrival, the three seniors ended up only 30 feet away from Sanders, a candidate whose policies they endorse.
“He fights for the people like my people—immigrants, Mexicans,” Mojica said. “He tries to fight for college tuition and tries to lower that. That’s really ideal for me because my family wouldn’t be able to really support me [financially], so getting him to be president would benefit me in the long run.”
The senior trio were not the only MC students present in the crowd Tuesday night. Senior Aryana Safaee and freshman Obteen Safaee also attended the rally to support the candidate.
“I really like his policies because I feel like they’re working to make people more equal in this country by distributing the wealth,” Aryana Safaee said.
Sundevils who were not even of age to vote attended the rally in solidarity with Sanders. Sophomores Francesca Hodges, Mikayla Reina, Matine Rubin, and Ryan Saggese. By the time the sophomores arrived, around 4:30 p.m., the line was already over a mile along. In order to make the most of their day, they decided to make the most of it by taking pictures and interviewing supporters.
“We decided that we’re obviously not going to get in, [and just to] walk around,” Hodges said. “We walked up and we started exploring the convention center. We got up to the second floor and someone let us in because we said we had to use the bathroom. […] There were a lot of guys with suits, so we looked really out of place. And, we heard some noise, and we thought ‘oh my goodness’ that must be the inside waiting room. There was an escalator going down so we just went on the escalator all the way down and saw the crowd […] and then we just stepped into the crowd and then we were in. We were so thankful. In the beginning of the day, I was walking down seeing all these huge lines and I would never have thought that I would be holding hands with Bernie Sanders only 5 hours later.”
With the upcoming California primaries on June 7, Sundevils of voting age hope to support their candidate by heading to the polls. Sundevils who attended the rally Tuesday night hope that others will vote for Sanders as well in the upcoming primaries.
“Definitely consider not just now, but your future because Bernie is helping out our generation, like the younger generation, and he really focuses a lot on them,” Mojica said. “And having that mentality for your kids would also help your family financially and economically so definitely consider what he’s proposing more for the long run.”
To see more photos from the San Diego Bernie Sanders Rally, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/mtcarmelsun!