By Glynn Wilson and Walter Simon –
MOBILE, Ala. — About 100 people rallied and marched downtown on Saturday, taking to the streets along with 70 other local groups nationwide in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Senator from Vermont.
Speakers and chanters called for economic equality, demanding an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, citing a winning battle in Seattle where the increase will be phased in from the current minimum wage of $11 over several years. They also called for campaign finance reform and judicial reform, protesting overcrowded prisons and the privitation of prisons, as well as decriminalization of marijuana as other states have done, including Colorado, Oregon and Maryland as well as Washington, D.C. Some also support Sanders for of his pro-environment advocacy, the opposite of all the Republicans in the race, pro-big business conservatives all.
Peter Daigle of Mobile carried a sign saying, “Fight against money in politics.”
“Money and politics clog democracy and that’s why I like Bernie Sanders so much because he’s a true democratic candidate,” Daigle said. “He’s completely funded by the people for the people.”
Mobile for Bernie, the University of South Alabama Students for Bernie and Mobile Bay Socialist Alternative organized the rally and march.
“It’s a race up until March 1st to get as many people out as possible,” Ryan Littlefield, a biology professor at USA and faculty advisor to the university group, said to the crowd.
After about an hour of speeches in Cathedral Square Park, activists marched in a peaceful demonstration around a predetermined and permitted route of about a mile, then returned to the park for more speeches and organizing (see video).
Sanders enthusiasts are planning other political actions prior to the Alabama primary vote on Super Tuesday, March 1. The delegates in 12 states are up for grabs. They have been holding phone bank events and will have a Bernie Sanders watch party at the Merry Widow bar on Tuesday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.