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Sanders claims record crowd, Flatbush councilman’s approval, in Prospect Park

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Photo gallery

1/6
A walk in the park: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vermont) greeted a record crowd in Prospect Park on April 17, asking whether the zoo there still has seals and elephants. It does still have seals, but the only Dumbo you’ll find in Brooklyn these days is under the Brooklyn Bridge.
2/6
Finally feeling the Bern: Councilman Jumaane Williams finally made up his mind about who to endorse in the Democratic primary two days beforehand — and just in time for a prime speaking position at the yooge rally. Somewhere in Bushwick, Councilman Rafael Espinal is kicking himself.
3/6
Sintiendo el Berna: Hillary Clinton is generally thought to have the Latino vote sewn up, but several recent polls show Sanders — who spent Saturday in the Vatican meeting the Pope — pulling ahead.
4/6
Terms of endearment: Actor Danny DeVito introduced Sanders to the stage.
5/6
Sign of the times: This guy did an admirable job keeping these street signs aloft through the whole rally. Kudos to this man and he biceps.
6/6
The art of the feel: Supporters came armed with an impressive array of hand-made signs.

Call it a slow Bern.

Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush) endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vermont) on Sunday — two days before the New York primary and just in time to turn his seal of approval into a speech at a massive rally in Prospect Park. Williams put out a press release Thursday night saying he was still undecided, but seemed to have really got on board over the course of the next two days with the campaign he dubbed a “revolution­ary moon shot.”

“Thirty years from now, when our children ask, ‘what were you doing when this revolutionary moon shot came?’ I’m here to say that we want to look them in the eye and say with pride, ‘We felt the Bern, baby!’ ” said Williams, only the second Council member to endorse Sanders, after Councilman Rafael Espinal (D–Bushwick).

Sanders later thanked “Assemblyman Jumaane Williams” to a crowd the campaign claims was 28,300 people strong and its largest ever, with many lining up from 9 am to nab a spot on the Nethermead for the 4 pm show.

The Brooklyn-born pol — who left the borough in 1961 — reminisced about visiting the Prospect Park Zoo as a boy, and asked whether it still has seals and elephants. (It still has seals, the elephants are long gone).

“When I was a kid growing up in Flatbush, our parents would take us to Prospect Park,” he said. “But I was never here speaking to 20,000 people.”

Actors Danny Devito and Justin Long also stumped for the Vermont senator during the huge rally, while local rock band Grizzly Bear got the crowd clapping politely with its mellow set.

Williams’s 11th-hour thumbs-up comes after he joined Sanders on a tour through a Brownsville public housing complex earlier that day, along with Borough President Adams and Councilman Ritchie Torres (D–Bronx) — neither of whom have endorsed a candidate.

Williams, who co-chairs the Council’s gun violence task force, tweeted beforehand that he planned to use the meeting to grill Sanders on gun control — an issue the senator has struggled on, with rival Hillary Clinton slamming his previous support for shielding gun companies from lawsuits and opposition to background checks.

Clinton, who held a rally in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sunday, leads Sanders by 10 percentage points ahead of Tuesday’s primary, according to the latest CBS poll.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

chromosauerus says:
Other than the "assemblyman," I don't see a lot of brown faces in the crowd.
April 18, 2016, 10:29 am
Tyler from pps says:
There were many "brown faces" in the crowd, chromosauerus. And there were many other non-white faces in the crowd. Not everyone is brown, but many are. The rally was quite racially and ethnically diverse. You know that 68% of Brooklyn is *not* African-American right?

(I guess the latinos and central and east asians aren't brown enough for you? the fact that many of the white folks in the crowd are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants is also probably lost on you.)
April 18, 2016, 11:34 am
Dave from Bushwick says:
Can you really visualize this adolescent playing role of diplomat... say amongst Saudi royalty?
April 18, 2016, 11:46 am
Tyler from pps says:
Because we want to continue to placate the Saudi royals?
April 18, 2016, 12:05 pm
ujh from downtown Brooklyn says:
Unfortunately, during this long campaign few have pointed out that the US isn't a monarchy and Sanders isn't being appointed ruler of the realm. If he wants to accomplish ANYTHING, he'll have to make the same compromises as Clinton (at least she acknowledges it) unless he wants to begin his presidency with one executive action after another.
April 18, 2016, 12:09 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon me, but I hope you don't mind my asking: Is this a joke? I have re-read the above statement(s) over and over and they are pretty much all the same (and from the same person).
John Wasserman
April 18, 2016, 12:21 pm
Mario from Bay Ridge says:
How many syllables?

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April 18, 2016, 12:51 pm
Tyler from OFWGKTA says:
Whoaaaa!
April 18, 2016, 12:55 pm
Kenneth says:
Fur
April 18, 2016, 1:02 pm
Mike from Kensington says:
Some of you commenters are just ridiculous. Feel the Bern!!!
April 18, 2016, 2:02 pm
But what do I know says:
Risky confusing playcation w diplomacy.
April 18, 2016, 2:58 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
Would somebody please ask Sanders where he thinks corporations get their money from?
April 18, 2016, 4:10 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
In NYC, voting Democrats rule. We choose, as a party, who we put forward as candidates for elected office, mayor, judges, etc, and our nominee for president. The wind has blown in NYC for the Clintons before most of the young people at this rally were 5 years old. We've been around long enough to know political dreams fuel hope, and political realities call for some caution. And as Democrates, we remember Secretary Clinton's support for OUR beloved president Barack Obama, and that alone is cause for loyality. Sorry, but I hope the concert was fun. We were dancing as 5 year olds way before and on the place you felt the Bern.
April 18, 2016, 7:24 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Charles - Sen. Sander's main criticism of the president is that he has been weak in terms of negotiating with the republicans in Congress. If we had the Barack Obama we've seen for the last 9 months in the lead up to the 2012 election, Sanders wouldn't have made that argument.

But overall, to say that Bernie hasn't been supportive of our president is just plain hogwash. The absence of critique is not support. The presence of critique is not a lack of loyalty.
April 19, 2016, 9:40 am
Andrea Winter says:
TV on the Radio is a mediocre band at best, now reduced to mere propaganda.
April 19, 2016, 1:35 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Tyler from pps. Agreed, and I have no problem with Sander's record or support for our president. I guess my point is Sanders is no Clinton, and Vermont ain't Brooklyn. Or maybe Clinton is no Sanders, and Vermont ain't Brooklyn. Either way.
April 19, 2016, 7:09 pm
samir kabir from downtown says:
Feel the bernie....
April 20, 2016, 7:24 am

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