Bernie Sanders completed his first tour of California with a huge rally in San Francisco today, following a packed rally in Los Angeles on Saturday that was attended by at least 15,000 people. The number of people who attended today isn’t yet known, and we’ll update this story as more details are shared. Early reports indicate as many as 17,000 might have been there. The crowd was packed and excited, as Sanders reminded his supporters that there’s nothing they can’t accomplish if they stand together. With crowds so big for his rallies in California this weekend, Sanders is proving himself to be a real contender for winning California in the Democratic primary this time around. Here are photos and highlights from his rally today.
Today’s event was held at Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason on Bay St. in San Francisco. The event started at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The line just to get in was incredibly long:
Here’s another look at how long that line was:
RoseAnn DeMoro of OrganizingforBernie.com estimated that about 17,000 were there:
Sanders began his speech by addressing Robert Mueller’s report. Attorney General Barr released a summary letter about it today. Sanders said:
I haven’t read the report yet, it hasn’t been made public… It is a summary of the report. Well I don’t want a summary of the report! I want the whole damn report because nobody, especially this President, is above the law.”
The crowd was exuberant and excited.
Here are some more crowd shots:
Eva Shang noted that the crowd in San Francisco was diverse:
Sanders promised that the principles of their government would be based on justice. “Economic justice, racial justice, social justice, and environmental justice.”
When Sanders talked about Trump’s administration dividing people, the crowd booed. “And you’re right to boo,” he said in answer to the crowd. “…It is not acceptable to me nor to the American people that we for the first time in modern American history actually have a President who for cheap political gain wants to divide us up by the color of our skin, by our gender, by where we were born, by our sexual orientation, or by our religion.”
A President of the United States brings us together, does not divide us up. So our campaign will do exactly the opposite of what Trump is doing.”
Sanders also talked about how life expectancy in the United States has gone down due to drugs, alcohol, and suicide. “This campaign is about bringing hope back to all Americans,” he said.
“This campaign is about moving up, not down,” he said about children having a lower standard of living than their parents. He has four children and seven grandchildren, he said, and he wants them to have a better future than he had.
Sanders also addressed gerrymandering and voter suppression.
“We are not only going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United, we’re gonna end voter suppression in this country… I have run in many, many election… It has never, ever occurred to me to say … how can I make it as hard as possible for people to vote because they might vote against me? That is political cowardice. I say to those Republican governors who are trying to keep people from voting, if you don’t have the guts to engage in a free and fair election, get the hell out of politics.”
Sanders said the U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnouts of major countries. “We’re going to make it easier for people to vote, not harder. It’s not complicated… If you’re a citizen, if you’re 18 years of age, you’re registered to vote, let’s do that.”
Sanders also talked about ending the power of superdelegates and how that has gained more support in the last four years. It’s true, but there’s still room to grow in that area.
Sanders was really funny today too. “I don’t want people fainting in shock. Some people are seated, that’s good,” he said, as he began to talk about the radical ideas his campaign had in 2015 that are now widely accepted, such as a $15/hour minimum wage. He later emphasized that anyone who works 40 hours a week should not be in poverty.
As he grows in confidence at his rallies, his use of humor is increasing too.
Sanders also talked about how embarrassing Trump has been recently in the news. “You don’t attack dead heroes when you’re the President of the United States,” Sanders said about Trump’s recent attacks on John McCain months after he died.
This photo from the rally was shared on Reddit by u/alacp1234:
He talked about legalizing marijuana and reforming the criminal justice system in general.
We’re going to end the cash bail system… (Reforming criminal justice) also understands there’s something profoundly wrong when tens of thousands of people get criminal records for smoking marijuana but not one CEO on Wall Street went to jail because of their criminal activity in destroying our economy. I know it’s a radical idea but we believe in equal justice under the law whether you’re rich or whether you’re poor.”
Sanders also discussed enacting a federal jobs guarantee, which was met with exuberant enthusiasm.
But Sanders’ events are about more than big crowds. He also stops to talk with individuals during his travels. He was at LAX on his way to San Francisco when he saw a group of LAX employees who told him the airport was moving away from union contractors. Sanders posted on Instagram about how that was wrong.
Here’s Bernie Sanders’ Instagram post about the meeting. He wrote, “Airlines like Southwest and American are switching passenger service work at LAX away from union contractors, leaving some workers with fewer protections, inadequate healthcare and unreasonable workloads that call worker and passenger safety into question. Not acceptable. If we’re going to rebuild the middle class in America we must support the trade union movement. I stand with LAX workers. #unionstrong.”
Near the end of Sanders’ rally, he reminded people that this isn’t about him, but about everyone.
No President, no matter how honest or well-intentioned her or she may be can do it alone… The people who own America, Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the military industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry, they are so powerful that no one person can do it alone. The only way we transform this country is the old-fashioned way from the bottom on up.”
Here’s a photo of Bernie and Jane Sanders with his volunteers today, shared on Reddit by u/WickedJazz.
Sanders also shared:
The only way workers ever got a decent standard of living is when they struggled and formed unions. The only way we ever ended segregation in this country is when we had a grassroots civil rights movement… The only way we transform this country… is when millions of people from coast to coast stand up, look around them, and say the status quo is not good enough, we want real change.”
People began chanting “Bernie! Bernie!” and he said sarcastically, “I see my words have had a profound impact.” So the crowd started chanting, “Not me! Us!”
Sanders ended his rally with these words:
If we have the courage to take on powerful special interests, there is nothing that we cannot do. Remember this, they are the one percent. They have unlimited amounts of money, they have incredibly political power, they have lobbyists all over Washington… That is what the 1 percent and the powerful corporations do… They are 1 percent, we are 99 percent. And if we stand together, we can create a country that will be the envy of the world, it will be a country that our kids and our grandchildren will say thank you … for standing up and fighting for justice.”
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