The crowd cheering for Sen. Bernie Sanders outside UW’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday night was only a taste of what the Democratic candidate would see when he walked inside.
3,000 supporters who couldn’t get in cheered outside
12,000 supporters gathered inside the basketball arena to hear Sanders.
Seattle Pi reports:
Sanders was blocked from speaking at a Social Security anniversary celebration earlier in the day at Westlake Center, due to a disruption by Black Lives Matter protesters similar to one that greeted him at NetRoots Nation in Phoenix three weeks ago.
This is what they would have heard, and what the crowd heard Saturday night.
“Too many young lives are being destroyed by the so-called ‘War on Drugs’,” Sanders declared. “Too many lives are being destroyed by our system of incarceration.” And, pledged Sanders, “No President will fight harder to end the stain of racism and reform our criminal justice system. Period.”
“This is the largest crowd we’ve had so far,” said Sanders, while addressing the overflow outside.
On Sunday night, an even larger crowd is likely to gather in Portland.
Sanders argues that corporate America is “destroying America” by eroding the middle class with low wages, and that the no-limits, anything-goes financing of campaigns — thanks to Citizens United— has “totally corrupted. corrupted” a nation built on “government by the people.”
“The foundations of American democracy are being undermined,” Sanders said last night.
Sanders brought in huge crowds in Madison and Minneapolis, New Orleans and Phoenix, and now Seattle.
Sanders is taking aim at the nation’s billionaires, hedge fund managers and banks:
“You can’t have it all. You cannot get huge tax breaks when millions of kids go to bed hungry . . . You cannot hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. You will pay your fair share.”
Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton but his presence can’t be ignored. American voters are lining up to hear him speak.
This was the biggest political crowd since Obama’s 2010 visit.
Let’s compare this to the crowd gathering to hear Donald Trump speak last month. While the Republican candidate claimed there were 20,000 people at his event, he was off by 16,000.
Feel the Bern.
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Images: Seattle Pi.
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