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Celebrities, Students, and Volunteers Unite to Film Pro-Sanders Commercial

Spike Lee Pictures -1
PHOTO Tyrice Hester

By Tyrice Hester

Published: April 6th, 2016

The Brooklyn College campus has been the set for a variety of movies, TV shows, and advertisements. On Friday, it became the stage for yet another video, and this time, students got to play a role.

On April 1, actors Susan Sarandon, Rosario Dawson, and Alan Cumming joined filmmaker Spike Lee at Brooklyn College to create a campaign commercial for Vermont Senator and Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders.

“When I saw him [Sanders] speak I fell to my knees,” Sarandon said candidly. “Because he consistently and bravely stands up for all the things that I value. Even when it’s not easy or popular, he’s the only candidate that I support.”

Supporters gathered on the second floor of the Student Center for registration around 9 a.m.

“Bernie is authentic,” said Jesus Garcia, a Bernie Sanders volunteer. “He predicted the disaster that is the Iraq war. He also wants to make college and university completely free, regardless of income.”

According to activist and social media mogul Shaun King, the event was originally set to take place without students. However, once the idea changed, King used his media platform to garner an audience.

At 12:59 p.m. King tweeted “Yo, we need 500 @BernieSanders supporters RIGHT NOW @ Brooklyn College.”

Within the next few hours, supporters massed into Roosevelt Hall, where the filmed segment took place. Students took pictures sporting Bernie themed t-shirts, pins, and signs while lining up along the gymnasiums bleachers.

“It’s less than an event,” said King. “It’s affirming. The crowd looks like Brooklyn. It’s cool because there are a diverse set of views, and because students can be involved in a political ad.”

One student wore a t-shirt with a photo of Sanders and the words “Not For Sale” emblazoned below in bold capital letters. Another held an electrically lit sign with the word “Bernie” on it.

Standing in the crowd, one could feel the sense of camaraderie fostered by the shared goal of getting Sanders elected. When Linda Sour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, stumbled during her monologue, students began to cheer in support. Lee faced the crowd and chanted, “Brooklyn in the house, yo!” Together Lee, Sour and students sang with raised fists.

In the past, Lee has endorsed Sanders during his run for presidency by becoming actively involved during the democratic primaries in South Carolina. He believes that Sanders would “do the right thing” if elected.

The New York primaries are set to take place on April 19. As of now, there is no public word as to when the commercial is due to air.

“Call me naive,” said Sarandon before disappearing into an elevator, “But I can’t believe we [finally] have a candidate that is actually supporting our values!”

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