Furries For Bernie talk about their support for the US presidential candidate.
by Patch O'Furr
Thank you for joining our movement! We'll never forget this moment. pic.twitter.com/vrSo3ANAUM
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) March 1, 2020
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) March 1, 2020
There was no time for breakfast. It would take a miracle to find parking for the Bernie Sanders rally in Richmond CA. We were nearby and already together after a dance party the night before. Now we could see him speak with 11,000 supporters.
Candy, BerryPecanTart and Lux rode with me. Wild Child and Zahi were there, and Apollo Wolfdog, who we didn’t know, made contact from seeing us in the crowd. We were a litter worth of furries in the blocks long line to get in while Bernie’s motorcade passed 10 feet away. The blazing sun and fursuit photos weren’t as big as a wave from the man himself.
His speech praised supporters in attendance like Danny Glover, and Richmond city government officers. Their movement featured in the 2017 book Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (Sanders wrote the introduction.) The book followed the path of history that passed beneath our paws.
The rally was in a former Ford factory that helped win WWII while union workers struggled with segregation. The town’s industry then became dominated by Chevron, whose refinery sometimes has fires like one in 2012 that hospitalized 10,000. Sometimes I can watch these industrial accidents with binoculars.
Chevron’s millions bought the city government for a long time, gaining power over development or costs like liability for people getting sick from pollution. That changed in the 2000’s. Despite being vastly outspent, progressives took power. It was what Sanders hopes to accomplish with his 2020 campaign.
At the rally, the fire was in Bernie’s challenge for a leader who listens to scientists, not climate change deniers, and a message of #NotMeUs. Even a furry could feel a stake in it (such as their high LGBTQ membership.)
Later some online watchers worried that being there in fursuit could make Bernie look bad. But in the crowd, there was nothing but positivity. Kids just old enough to start voting got energized. A candidate for US Congress asked for help with his race. They wouldn’t stop asking for photos.
KQED took one. When I shared it, they noticed all the animal-people sharing it too. That led to meeting the reporter and giving tips on good furries to talk to. This Twitter thread covers how.
This furry news story from 2017 had an optimist point about bringing attention to causes. https://t.co/o8BLdua4bF
I was reminded of it when @ShahidForChange asked me for photos at Bernie's rally today. He said 1 volunteer like this is worth 50 in a crowd. #furries4bernie 1/ pic.twitter.com/DE1bLSQyR3
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 18, 2020
I can't speak about fursuiting at rallies, but I've had a fair bit of experience fursuiting at events like make-a-wish or relay for Life, and the positive effect on those people of us being out there and suiting is very obvious. Definitely not the stigma we expect!
— Inkblitz 🔜 Furnal Equinox! (@Inkblitzer) February 18, 2020
Why Furries For Bernie? Quotes from those at the Richmond rally.
Bernie Sanders is a populist candidate, undeniably. He’s an underdog, a long shot. It wasn’t too long ago that he was hosting rallies in barns and backyards with 20 people in attendance. He’s struggled his entire life to be taken seriously. He’s almost like an imaginary character himself? How can we, furries, not identify at least a little bit with that? We all had a life before we came to the fandom, and for many of us it was a less than happy one. We all struggled to be understood and to be treated with respect. When we found our community and found an outlet of self-expression, we could discover who we truly were. The fandom is our pulpit, just like the presidential race is Bernie’s. He’s polarizing? He’s spirited? In another life, he’d be a furry.
If you’re asking me what his fursona would be, I would imagine it’s a secretary bird. Not only does it have the correct hair, but I can imagine Bernie kicking a snake in the head.
Well, as you know, back in 2017 at Anime Boston, Bernie’s benevolent presence was enough on its own to stop a fight of ultimate destiny between Strobes the Lynx and Jack Skellington. I can only imagine what peaceful reactions he can bring between the U.S. and the Middle East if he became president?
But in all seriousness, Bernie’s message of unity and togetherness in the face of overwhelming odds, from years of ridicule from constantly being on the right side of history, is something that us furries have understood too well. It’s a window of opportunity that has never been bigger in the history of the United States for an openly Democratic Socialist candidate to make it to the White House in over a hundred years.
And as a community that has opened its arms wide to the LGBTQ community and the first to push back hard against the alt-right (whether they been the Burned Furs or Furry Raiders), we understand the stakes better than anyone.
Bernie means justice in desperate times!
Bernie means removing the crushing boot which the Establishment (Left and Right) and War Industrial Complex (see President Eisenhower’s speech on it) have held against the peoples’ throat for decades. This frees the people to be healthy, happy and live with dignity; Even when diginity is being a talking lion, frolicking with your friends. Speaking of, Bernie is a wonderful specimen of Lion, look at his poofy mane and magnanimous leadership!
Bernie means standing for the right thing, even when it is not popular. Bernie is honorable. Though to be honest, he needs to take off the gloves and confront war criminals like Biden.
The Facebook group Furries for Bernie:
Originally I made this page as a joke between me and my furry friends: wouldnt be funny if Bernie himself had a fursona and was an active member of our fandom? I made a few images that went with the page and slowly I realized people liked the idea! Bernie supports a lot of the ideals the fandom holds: LGBTQ+ rights, educational rights and animal rights. More than just being a supporter of Bernie personally I think the fandom of furries could get behind him for what he stands for.
"A Secret Weapon of the Progressive Left: Furries"
You heard it here first.https://t.co/UvqcPaOTb6
— 🌹Shahid Buttar for Congress (@ShahidForChange) February 28, 2020
Watch out for trolls…
When KQED (a PBS/NPR type channel) did a Furries For Bernie tweet, it drew tagging from small trolls who tried to sic big trolls on it. One they tagged is known as a Republican political consultant and deliberate spreader of fake news with 180,000 followers. Recently a Fox “news” story shared it with no news content; it was a naked boost for a twitter troll by major media. It showed how the playing field tilts.
More chat about getting involved.
Arrkay: I think the Worst Year Ever podcast helped a lot for furries on the left. My brother is campaigning for Bernie on college campuses here in Canada. He was super awkward about furry stuff for years because of Somethingawful prejudices. After the podcast we had some great conversations. He tells me that the Americans abroad caucus is larger than any individual state caucus.
Patch: Why Canada, is it a lot of students and military?
Arrkay: I think students are the easiest to target.
Goku!: The next time Bernie comes to PA, I should really dress up in my rat suit- we could show rodent solidarity for him! Time to get in Brooklyn and have a hell of a time. I’d be perfectly fine just chilling outside and socializing with local citizens… but I wonder if they’d let me inside in fursuit?
Patch: No problem here, they just made me take off my head for a sec, they weren’t checking ID or anything either. Do it and use the hashtag if you do make it to the rally. Make a hashtag sign too, I must have gotten over 100 photos and would have seen more if I remembered to do that. They wouldn’t let home made signs inside but the crowds outside made it worthwhile.
Wild Child: One more reason to support… Bernie makes cruelty against animals a topic discussion more than most politicians, and he has a thriving Facebook page for it and platform policies on humane treatment.
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