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Comedian Sandra Bernhard lends support to Occupy Boston

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  October 31, 2011 07:24 PM

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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Sandra Bernhard addressed the protesters of Occupy Boston during a brief visit to the encampment in Dewey Square Monday evening.

Self-described “superstar” Sandra Bernhard paid a low-key visit to the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square on Halloween, lending her voice to the protest and giving away free tickets to upcoming performances.

“I’m just really excited that there’s a grassroots movement across the country where people are finally trying to take back some power and really express their dismay and exhaustion at what this government has done to everybody over the last 10, 15, 20 years,” Bernhard, 56, said in a brief interview before addressing the crowd, “and that things have really got to change, and there’s got to be equality and equanimity for everyone.”

The comedian/actress/singer/author is in town for four performances of her latest one-woman show, “I Love Being Me, Don’t You?” at the American Repertory Theater’s Club Oberon in Harvard Square. Bernhard said this was the first time she had visited one of the growing movement’s many camps, though she hopes to visit the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City soon.

“I’m thrilled to be in Boston, and it’s a great honor to be here and be part of a movement that’s really kind of taking over the country,” she told the protesters. “A movement of, I think, great intelligence and really trying to take back the sanity in this country.”

“Everything should be available to all of us. I mean the fact that we still have to fight for health care, for women’s reproductive rights, for an education that should be for everyone — the list goes on and on.”

Bernhard said she found the anti-corporate movement inspiring and tries to offer support through her work as a performer, raising challenging issues and encouraging her audiences not to be complacent. She said she’d like to join the protesters sleeping in tents to draw attention to their cause, but, “I don’t think I have the fortitude for it.”

“I wish the people in the red states would understand that this is as much for them as it is for us,” she said. “I think that a lot of people that are fighting it, that have their fists up, that think it’s indulgent don’t understand that it should just be a given that all of these things are part of the American fabric, the equality and the sharing and what should be all the goodness that this country has to offer.”

She told the protesters she sent them “good energy and strength” to make it through the cold weather as long as possible and then to “pick up in the spring when we need to really roll up our sleeves and start battling these morons running for president.”

Email Jeremy C. Fox at jeremycfox@gmail.com.
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(Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com)

Bernhard spoke with fans and signed autographs after addressing the crowd.

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