Less than a week before the Indiana presidential primary, candidate Bernie Sanders spoke before an enraptured crowd of more than 3,000 people, calling for a revolution.
As three other presidential candidates made appearances throughout the state, Sanders encouraged Hoosiers to vote next Tuesday. He trails Clinton by 297 delegates and 481 superdelegates nationally.
“Next Tuesday, let us have the highest voter turnout in Indiana history,” Sanders said. “Let the great state of Indiana join the 17 other states that have said it is time for a political revolution.”
Throughout the night, Sanders spouted idealistic one-liners. His followers, who waited hours in the rain to see him, hung on each word.
“Love trumps hatred.”
“How is it that we have trillions of dollars for war, but we don’t have money to rebuild inner cities?”
“Women are tired of earning 79 cents ... Women, appropriately enough, want the whole damn dollar.”
When it came to the in-betweens, the nuts and bolts of policies or numbers, the crowd quieted.
Sanders attributes the fervor for his campaign to young people defying the stereotype of the self-absorbed millennial.
“Young people understand they are the future of the country,” Sanders said. “And they damn well want to influence that future.”
Not everyone at the rally supported Sanders though. Seven protesters from “Say No to Socialism” attended the rally, and some exchanged shouts with Bernie supporters.
“We’re showing not all college students support Bernie Sanders,” IU junior Brandon Lavy said. “There’s diversity in millennials.”
Though they were few in number, six managed to circle the rally-goers several times. At times, Sanders supporters shouted insults or told them to leave, and the counter-ralliers hurled their own shouts back.
“I’m not paying for you to major in feminist dance therapy,” a counter-protester said at one point.
More than 10,000 people came to the rally, according to event volunteers, and attendees ranged from infants to senior citizens. The earliest arrivals got in line at 7 a.m.
Vicky Haralovich arrived at 10 a.m. with her mother and two daughters, both under 5 years old. She brings them along when she canvasses Bloomington to rally support for Sanders.
Olivia Kenny came to the rally as a high school sophomore, years before she will ever cast a ballot. Her mom had to drive her to the rally.
Sanders spoke before the rally to those outside who did not fit in the 3,100-capacity auditorium.
During his speech inside, Sanders’ statements on climate change, pay inequality, income inequality and rebuilding America received standing ovations.
Sanders railed against the influence of big money in politics — one of his signature points. He said the lack of universal health care and climate change reform can be blamed on special interests controlling politics through campaign donations.
He said his campaign does something radical when discussing these issues.
“We’re telling the truth,” he said to another standing ovation and cheers.
When the rally ended, supporters gushed from the auditorium outdoors into drizzling rain. Many were without umbrellas and most stayed quiet as they walked.
Through the patter of feet on wet pavement and the sound of cars driving through puddles, cheers were still erupting from the auditorium.
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