Bernie Sanders was energetic as he addressed an enthusiastic crowd during his “Bernie’s Back” rally in New York today. This was his first big rally since his heart attack, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spoke. She officially endorsed him during the rally. More than 20,000 attended Bernie Sanders‘ rally, with so many showing up that the gates had to be closed when the park reached its capacity of 20,000, Sanders shared during the rally. According to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, 25,872 people attended the rally today.
More than 25,000 Attended & Many Had To Be Turned Away After the Venue Reached Capacity
Bernie Sanders’ rally was at Queensbridge Park at Vernon Blvd. & Queens Plaza South in Long Island City, New York. When the rally began, Sanders apologized to the many people who had to be turned away. He said they had a permit for 20,000 at the rally and they had to turn people away once they reached that number. He apologized for those who couldn’t get in.
The crowd was indeed massive. The video below gives you an idea of just how large the crowd was. According to Sanders’ campaign, 25,872 people attended the rally today. New York City Park officials told Heavy that the Parks Service does not offer crowd estimates for events and directs media to the campaigns for those numbers.
There was an overflow crowd too who lined up across the street. It’s not clear if this crowd is included in Sanders’ campaign’s rally count.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave her support to Sanders during the rally, when she spoke before him at the event. She said he was the reason for her entering politics in the first place. She also said he gave her the hope that she could unseat a long-time incumbent. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t say “endorse” specifically in her speech, but later tweeted: “Today I am endorsing Senator @BernieSanders for president.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement was met with enthusiasm from Sanders supporters.
Michael Moore and Jane Sanders also reassured the crowd about his health. You can learn more about his health in Heavy’s story here.
Bernie Sanders Was Particularly Energetic & Vowed to Fight for the Less Fortunate
During his rally, Sanders talked about repairing and modernizing public access that would include access to high-speed broadband for residents.
Sanders also vowed to end the “broken and racist criminal justice system that exists in America.” He vowed to end the war on drugs, legalize marijuana, and to end cash bail in America. He said it’s wrong to have people in jail for marijuana while CEOs from pharmaceutical companies aren’t in jail when their policies might kill people. “Equal justice for all whether you’re rich or poor,” he said.
“Instead of demonizing the undocumented immigrants in this country, we’re going to pass comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship,” he said.
“Today we say loudly and proudly that it’s the women in this country who have the right to control their own bodies, not the politicians,” Sanders said, adding that he’d never nominate someone to the Supreme Court who was not 100 percent Roe v. Wade.
Sanders said his proposals will be paid for by having the wealthiest of the country pay their fair share in taxes, rescind tax breaks for billionaires and large corporations, end providing tax breaks and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and end costly wars.
The crowd chanted “End the wars!” in response to his last statement.
“I believe more than I’ve ever believed that we are a moment in our great country’s history where all of us coming together can create the America that we are entitled to have, the America that we know that we can become,” he said.
He Asked an Enthusiastic Crowd: ‘Are You Willing to Fight for That Person … You Don’t Know As Much As You’re Willing to Fight for Yourself?’
“I want to ask all of you … to take a look around you…,” he said. “If you look around, what you’ll find that we are people here of every race, every gender, every gender identity, we are different religions, we are different ethnicities. We have men and women here, we have people who are young and we have people who are old… We are a reflection of the diversity and the strength of the movement we have built, and it is that movement…that is going to transform this country.”
The crowd chanted loudly: “We will win!”
Then Sanders made things more personal for the people in the audience.
“I want you all to take a look around and find someone you don’t know, maybe somebody who doesn’t look kind of like you, who might be of a different religion, maybe who come from a different country… My question now to you, is are you willing to fight for that person who you don’t even know as much as you’re willing to fight for yourself?”
The question hit home with the people, who cheered as they looked around at everyone else who was there with them.
“Are you willing to stand together and fight for those people who are struggling economically in this country?” he asked the crowd. “Are you willing to fight for young people drowning in student debt even if you are not? Are you willing to fight to insure that every American has health care as a human right, even if you have health care? Are you willing to fight for frightened immigrants…even if you are native-born? Are you willing to fight for a future for generations of people who have not yet even been born, but are entitled to live on a planet that is healthy and habitable? If you are willing to … love, to fight for a government of compassion, of justice, and decency… If you and millions of others are prepared to do that, there is no doubt in my mind that not only will we win this election, but together we will transform this country.”