On March 31st, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) took the city of Boston by storm when they spoke at the Our Revolution rally at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre. Given the impending Nor’Easter, the crowd at the event was tremendous. Most of the seats in the theater were filled by rally-goers. The orchestra was filled to the brim, and the second-level of the theater was at least ¾ of the way full. Overall, the event boasted an impressive turnout, despite the weather. Online, about three-thousand people RSVP’d—less than the number of people who actually turned out for it, but 3,000+ people would have been far too many people for this rally anyways.
For the people who were there, it probably seemed like a peaceful, easy event to attend. Unlike the rallies I saw during this past election cycle, attendees were able to sit comfortably in the theater and listen to the speakers onstage. Concessions were on sale in the lobby, like you would expect from a space like this. The line to get inside became more chaotic as the night moved closer to the event’s start time, but I’m doubtful anyone was turned away at the door. Anybody who wanted to see Bernie, Elizabeth and the other speakers that preceded them onstage were more than welcome to enter the theater and take a seat.
I had a somewhat different experience than the average attendee at the rally. Though my role was anything but essential, I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the event. I had planned to get there early anyways, but volunteering guaranteed I’d be able to wait inside until the event started. This also guaranteed that I received priority seating — a seat in the second row from the stage. Of course, seeing politicians speak isn’t the same as going to a concert or play, but sitting so close still made for a great night.
To volunteer, I arrived at the theater around 4 pm — three hours earlier than the rally’s actual start time. At around 6 pm, I was finally put to task. I was asked to help attendees sign up to basically receive email and phone notifications from Our Revolution, the group hosting the event. If you aren’t familiar, Our Revolution is the organization spurred by Sanders’ run at the Democratic presidential nomination. It focuses on the issues that made up Sanders’ platform. Though the group isn’t technically Bernie’s, it’s obviously affiliated with him.
A little after 7 pm, I took my seat and the rally began. Speakers from different activist groups across the state took the stage and spoke of issues like immigration and income inequality. Next to speak was Senator Warren, who continued the conversation on income inequality. However, much of her speech was directed to President Trump and combatting the current administration. Then Warren introduced Sanders, and the two met at the center of the stage. For the next forty minutes or so, Sanders dominated the auditorium.
Much of what he advocated for during his campaign made its way to his speech there: a $15 minimum wage, free college tuition, etc. But, he also made his speech specific to the current political climate, by discussing ways in which he planned to continue pushing the legislation he hopes to see forward.
Though Sanders might not be everybody’s favorite senator, the rally was an exciting one. For at least a few hours, the Our Revolution rally helped me to forget the miserable weather awaiting me outside — and helped me to look confidently toward the future.