Washington Square Park Perfect Backdrop for Sanders Rally as New York Times Dramatically Downplays Crowd Size | Photos

Bernie Sanders Rally Washington Square Park

After all the build up, questions as to whether the redesigned Washington Square Park could still accommodate a large rally such as Bernie Sanders, the answer was, for the most part, yes.

The Bernie Sanders campaign says 27,000 people attended, reflecting the crowds in the park and spilling onto nearby Greenwich Village streets. The New York Daily News put forth 30,000 in the park, but the New York Times leads its article off stating that Sanders was joined by “several thousand jubilant supporters.” Numbers can be difficult to gauge but it was clearly way more than that.

And yet, there were vast parts of the park underutilized, areas where flower beds were ill-advisedly placed in the redesigned park (paths east and west of fountain); the new design makes aspects of rallies more challenging as all that “symmetry” cuts back on space in key areas. There was still room for more people in the far corners of the park even at the point no one else was being let in early on, but the storied space and its magnificent Arch provided a great backdrop to Bernie Sanders and his for-the-people message.

Overflow crowds lined Washington Square South and the Greenwich Village streets surrounding the park.

Things that resonated with me during the rally: “dream big” – actor Tim Robbins said, as he outlined his support for Sanders and his message, and “radical” ideas are often ones that make sense but get marginalized as corporate, media and societal status quo interests override them (paraphrasing Sanders). Of course, so much more was said as Sanders spoke, outlining his core issues, for over an hour in the park to enthusiastic supporters.

The build up:

Bernie Sanders Washington Square Park Rally



Two Fifth Avenue Supports Bernie Sanders
Two Fifth Avenue Supporters of Bernie Sanders

The strange thing about this SW entrance being closed (below) is that this is one of the entrances they stated as a way to enter:


Washington Square Park Closed Bernie Sanders Rally

NW Press Area
NW Press Entrance (Hangman’s Elm)
Hangmans Elm Amidst Media Scrum
Hangman’s Elm Amidst Media Scrum
Media Line Up
Media Lines Up on MacDougal Street
Washington Square North
Empty and Barricaded Washington Square North
Washington Square North
Washington Square South
Outside Judson Church
Outside Judson Church


Gal Climbs Light to See Sanders
Gal Climbs Light to See Sanders
Crowd Dispersing
Crowd Dispersing
Tree Pit Barricaded Off
Media Area in Fountain
Media Area in Fountain
Another media area blocked off crowd views
Another elevated media area in front of fountain blocked off crowd views


Sanders by Arch (Hidden) Secret Service
Sanders by Arch (Hidden) Secret Service


Event in Action:
Bernie Sanders Rally Washington Square Park

Sanders Stops to Wave Before Leaving Park:

Bernie Sanders Leaving, Waves to Supporters by the Arch, Washington Square Park
Bernie Sanders Leaving, Waves to Supporters by the Arch

See more great photos and a Slideshow of the Rally by Ester Segretto at IMPOSE.

All of this is building up to next Tuesday’s (19) Democratic Primary in New York. Don’t forget to vote if you are registered!

Top Three Photos: Jennifer Jager
Photo #4, Bottom Two Photos: Ester Segretto
All other photos: Cathryn