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Flame kept a Bern’in, all night long | The Highlander | UCR

Aaron Lai/Highlander
Aaron Lai/Highlander
On the top floor of Back to the Grind, where the indignant, electric-voiced Jaykob Mare was setting up his guitar and the sound system, a sign hung next to the giant bookcase encapsulated the spirit that the Bernie Sanders festival and fundraiser, called Bern Fest, built upon: “Back to the Grind is a place for all to come together, leaving all labels outside.”

Yet, despite leaving “all labels outside,” many at the April 16 event identified with one label — Bernie supporter — which could be seen everywhere, from the decor to the people. A Post-it board next to the cafe’s counter said “Bernie for…” and had a stack of Post-its next to it. A majority of the board was still blank but some of the few that people had put up said “teachers,” “economy” and “future.” Pins, shirts and other Bernie paraphernalia were worn by many as they mingled around the event, enjoying the bands and guest speakers.

The coordinators of the first Bern Fest and self-proclaimed bohemian Bernie fans, Andres Valenzuela and Jonny Miller, recognized that Back to the Grind was the right location for the second Bern Fest, which was held on Saturday because its values mirrored those of Bernie. Or, as Miller excitedly insisted, “going further to the left.”...


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