By Jess Martinaitis
Thousands of supporters gathered to cheer Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) at his rally in Chicago Sunday, his second stop on his second run for president.
Promising a political revolution to the crowd of more than 12,000 well-wishers, the senator credited Chicago, where he spent four years as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, as the city that taught him about “racism and poverty and other social ills.”
“My years here in Chicago gave me the opportunity to become involved in the civil rights movement, in the labor movement, in the peace movement and in electoral politics,” he told the cheering crowd.
“So, thank you Chicago, for that opportunity.”
Sanders promised a government based on social justice, and promised to fight voter suppression, economic inequality and the “demonization” of undocumented immigrants. He also vowed to put an end to the “insatiable greed” of corporate America.
“I understand that it is not talked about too much in Congress and in media,” Sanders said, the crowd quieting. “But, in my view we can no longer stand idly by and allow three families in this country to own more wealth than the bottom half of America.”
“This struggle is not just defeating Donald Trump,” said Sanders. “It is about taking on the incredible powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of our country.”
Many supporters at the rally praised Sanders for his consistency, passion and fight for civil rights.
“I think he really made it clear to his critics who think he’s not for racial justice, that he cares about all Americans,” said Maggie O’Donoghue, 31. “He’s not just about classicism, but racism as well.”
A group of students from the student government of the College of Lake County attended the rally and made it to the bleachers behind the lectern. Mizraim Hernandez, the school’s 19-year-old student vice-president was the one who shared the event with the group.
“I’m politically engaged,” said Hernandez, who is an undocumented immigrant and a DACA recipient. “I love Bernie’s passion and his fight. Bernie has been fighting for me. I have hope. He fights for all of us.”