By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com
Amid a sea of “Bernie” signs and chants of “We are the 99%” and “We will win”, Jane Sanders, looked out over the massive crowd of 25,000 that overflowed Queensbridge Park, beneath the Queensborough Bridge, onto the street, and said, “Here are people from every background in the melting pot called New York. Most of our ancestors came to America for a better life- mine from Ireland to escape famine, poverty; Bernie’s from Poland escaping anti-Semitism, poverty.
“All believed they could have a better life. But in the last 40 years that promise has eroded. Bernie plans to change that.” And, noting that this is his first rally since his heart attack, she said to massive cheers, “Bernie is back. He’s healthy and more than ready to continue his lifelong fight for working people of America.”
Michael Moore: “This is not just about defeating Trump, but the rotten system that gave us Trump’
Democracy, said documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, is where “Everyone gets a seat at the table, a slice of the pie and not fight for last crumbs. We don’t just need a democratic politics, we need a democratic economy.”
Moore said, “The powers that be are very unhappy you’re here, that Bernie is back. The pundits, the media [boo] are throwing everything out there to get people to think differently:
“That Bernie is too old. Here’s what’s too old: the Electoral College, the $7 minimum wage, women not being paid the same as men, thousands and thousands of dollars of student debt, $10,000 deductible for health care, Super Delegates, the fossil fuel industry – that’s what’s too old.
“It’s a gift we have 78-year-old American running for president. The experience he has, what he has seen. He knows what a pay raise is, a pension – look it up. What it looks like to defend against fascism and white supremacy, to have the library open every day, what regulations are (Boeing). I’m glad he’s 78.
“Health? We should be talking about the health of planet that’s dying [crowd chants “Green New Deal”]; the health of kids in Flint Michigan, of 40 million living in poverty, of young black males shot in back by police [chant Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Count]. The only heart attack we should talk about is the one Wall Street will have when Bernie wins.
“Next, that Bernie can’t win. He will win he has won 8 times to the House, 2 times to the Senate, 22 states in 2016 – almost half [chant “We will win.]. In 2016 [Democratic primary], Bernie won Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota. Of the 11 states that border Canada, Bernie won 10 (not NY) [boo] – we can fix that. Of the 5 states that border the Pacific, he won 4; of 6 in New England, won 4; Bernie won West Virginia – all 55 counties. According to a poll, he is #1 in Nevada, a dead heat in Iowa, #1 in New Hampshire. He has raised more money from more donors with the smallest amount.
“Why say Bernie can’t win? Because they are lying to the American people. Bernie will win. [Chant, “We will win”]
“They say he can’t win because he is a [Democratic] socialist [yay!]. That’s not going to fly. The American people have loved socialism for the last 70 years. Social Security, free public school, Medicare, Medicaid, fire department – all are socialist.
“What they don’t want to do is tell the truth, what would happen if they structured economic policies with democracy instead of capitalism. And this isn’t capitalism of your great grandpa, this is a form of greed, selfishness so that just few at the top succeed, the rest struggle paycheck to paycheck.
“Afraid taxes on rich will go up under Sanders? It was depressing during the debate to watch Democrats go after Medicare for All. What would Franklin Roosevelt say?
“They say we can’t afford it? How does Canada afford it? Every other industrialized country has figured it out, why can’t we? They don’t want us to figure it out.
“They say taxes will go up? That is part of the big lie – your taxes already are up. We don’t call it a tax – in Canada, France, Finland they get free health care, free or nearly free day care and college, but pay more in tax for these things. The average American family pays $12,000 a year for child care, $4000 in student loans, $6000 for deductibles, co-pays and premiums for health care – too damn much – the average is $20,000/year but we don’t call it a tax.
“We are here in Queensbridge Park, Manhattan Island just across the river is headquarters of corporate America [boo], corporate media [boo], Wall Street
. So much misery has been visited on the American people from a half mile away. It must stop.
“They must hear us at Goldman Sachs, Fox News, Trump Tower – the scene of the crime.
“This [election] is not just about defeating Trump, but the rotten system that gave us Trump…. beating Trump isn’t enough. We must crush Trump at the polls, then fix the rotten corrupt economic system that gave us Trump.”
San Juan Mayor Cruz: “Move forward on the path of progressive agenda. We are equal. We will win. We must win.”
Calling herself a “climate change survivor,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, attacked Trump for “killing us with inefficiency” that contributed to 3,000 Puerto Ricans dying after being smacked by back-to-back hurricanes.
“Why we have to win” she says is for Medicare-for-All, so no one has to choose between groceries and insulin; to be able to afford college and life after college, to “stand against those who earn $100 million and pay workers starving wages; who take away women’s right to choose; the crime of separating families at southern border; climate change.
“I am a climate change survivor. Climate change is real – 3000 Puerto Ricans were killed because Trump Is a racist, xenophobic, paper throwing demagogue.” [Chant, “Lock him up. Vote him out.”]
“The time is now to be fearless, relentless. I stand with Sanders – I respect every other candidate but there is one name only who can get the job done. Be united in one progressive voice, cross generations. Move forward on the path of progressive agenda. We are equal. We will win. We must win.”
Nina Turner: “We must knock out Billionaire class that doesn’t believe working people deserve a good life.”
National co chair Nina Turner quoted Congresswoman Barbara Jordan who said American people want an America as good as its promise. “That means an America where people don’t die because have to ration insulin; hospitals are not closing; where there is clean water, air, food; a justice system that doesn’t gun down black folks in their houses.
“We need to clean up the criminal injustice system, Truth & Reconciliation about the ravages of racism, a health care system not commodified. We need to take care of Mother Earth.”
Alluding to the Democratic candidates, she said, “There are many copies but only one original. We finally have somebody in our lifetime, his own special interest is people of nation.
“We must knock out Billionaire class that doesn’t believe working people deserve a good life.”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “We need a United States truly, authentically operated, owned by working people.”
“We must bring revolution of working class to the ballot box of America,” declared Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She prompted chants of “Green New Deal,” saying, “Queensbridge Park is ground zero in the fight for public housing and environmental justice.
“Last February I was working as a waitress in Manhattan, shoulder to shoulder with undocumented workers who were putting in12 hour days with no healthcare, not a living wage. We didn’t think we deserved it. That is the script we tell working people: your inherent worth, value as human depends on income another underpays. Turn around that basic language… We must change the system that puts corporate profit ahead of all human and planetary costs.”
After her parents put all they had to buy a house, she said she learned from an early age that “kids’ destiny determined by zipcode. Income inequality is a fact of life of children.” Her father died of cancer when she was 18 and she learned, “We all are one accident away from everything falling apart.
Sanders, she said, has fought for Planned Parenthood, for public education, for CHIP, for single-payer health care, for gender rights, to end “life-crushing” student debt.
“He didn’t do it because it was popular. He fought when it came at the highest political cost in America.
“In 2016, he changed politics in America. We now have one of the best Democratic fields – much because of Sanders.
“I’m in Congress today but one year ago I was a sexually harassed waitress. This freshman class in overwhelming numbers rejected corporate money – thanks to Bernie – endorsed Medicare for All, sees the climate crisis as an existential threat.
“[In Congress] it is no joke to stand up against corporate power and establishment interests. Arms are twisted, political pressure psychological and otherwise applied to make you abandon the working class.
“I have come to appreciate the nonstop advocacy of Sanders. It’s not just what he fights for but how: mass mobilization of the working class at the ballot box, a movement (against) racism, classism of Hyde Amendment, imperialist and colonial histories that lead to endless war and immigration crisis.
“NYCHA is underfunded by $30 billion –that is not an accident, but an outcome of system that devalues poor, Logic that got us into this won’t get us out.”
“We need a United States truly, authentically operated, owned by working people.
“Bernie showed you can run a grass roots campaign and win in America when others thought it impossible.”
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