Knitters, dancers, students: Concert draws diverse crowd
About ten Bowdoin students stand uncomfortably while dozens of people from the over-50 generation hit the dance floor. They groove to lyrics like "The way that I see it we're all rainbow people" and "Circle 'rounds for freedom, circle 'round for peace."
This was the scene at a benefit concert for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich in Daggett Lounge last Friday night. While the two groups may have boogied a bit differently, there was one thing in common between the students and nearly 100 area residents: their admiration of, or at least curiosity about, Kucinich.
"Imagine Dennis Kucinich, U.S. President," read a sign behind the all-white female West African drumming band. Most political experts agree that this concept will not get much further than the imagination. But supporters here seemed to attend the fundraiser not because of the candidates' potential electability, but because they wanted to show support for the anti-war and liberal ideals that Kucinich embodies.
David Duhalde '06 helped organize the event with Ben Kreider '05. Duhalde is the head of the Democratic Socialists on campus. He's a die-hard believer in Kucinich's policies.
"You feel like you're accomplished, getting his ideals out," he said.
Duhalde said he feels that Kucinich is electable in a general election, but acknowledged that he probably won't be the Democrat's nominee. "I believe I should vote with my heart now and vote with my head in November," Duhalde said, on why he'll be voting for Kucinich this spring.
The lack of Bowdoin students at the event was a bit disappointing for organizers, but not necessarily surprising. "I feel that it reflects Bowdoin's political apathy," Duhalde said.
Kreider concurred. "This is a politically apathetic campus," he said. "The only way to improve the situation is to have events like this."
But the lack of Bowdoin students didn't stop the party from getting started.
First, the percussion group Inanna Sisters in Rythm provided fast-paced music for the crowd. Slowly, many members of the crowd dressed in hippie-era clothing stood up and danced in the isles with long, flowery motions.
Then things slowed down for a bit while the women's group Full Circle sang four songs. One woman in the audience took some time to knit. The drumming started again after Full Circle's set.
In between songs throughout the night, various people spoke in support of Kucinich.
"I feel like one of the things that is immobilizing this country is a feeling of powerfulness," said one of the Inanna players.
"Integrity in government, imagine such a concept!" remarked the leader of Full Circle.
Levels of support for Kucinich among others in attendance varied. Duhalde is in full support of the representative from Ohio. Kreider, on the other hand, can usually be found promoting former Vermont Governor Howard Dean on campus.
"Kucinich is my ideal candidate but I've been working for Dean because I feel Dean is the most progressive candidate who has a chance to be elected," he said.
Thomas Buehrens '07 wasn't as involved as Duhalde and Kreider, and expressed more of a curiousity about the event. "I'm here for the music but I also wanted to find out what people thought about Dennis Kucinich," he said.
"I think I would support Dennis Kucinich if I thought he could win," he said.
Kucinich barely registered in recent Democratic primaries, and stays in the low single-digits in national polls.
But for many on Friday night, that didn't matter. They danced, sang, announced their support-and purchased "Drink to Peace" water for only a dollar a bottle.
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