Bernie Sanders speaks at People’s Summit


Source: National Nurses United

U.S. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks at the People's Summit in Chicago. The former presidential candidate addressed future steps for the Democratic Party after its 2016 election defeat.

Ryan Wangman, Summer Managing Editor

CHICAGO — Entering and exiting the stage to the tune of “Revolution” by The Beatles, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gave a speech at the People’s Summit on Saturday night outlining the Democratic Party’s future steps in the wake of its 2016 election defeat.

Sanders said the support of young people during his presidential campaign was crucial for the future of the progressive movement and claimed he received twice as many of their votes during the primaries as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did. He promised supporters a “political revolution” and called for a more representative government that wasn’t controlled solely by billionaires.

“You understood something that the establishment, the pundits and the corporate media did not know and still do not know,” Sanders said, addressing the crowd. “The American people are profoundly sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics.”

The summit, held at McCormick Place, brought together activists committed to social, racial and economic justice to attend workshops and listen to speakers dedicated to the same agenda. It took place from Friday to Sunday and focused on holding “all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom.”

The event returned to Chicago after its inaugural debut last year, and the crowd for Sanders’ speech filled the 4,250-seat capacity of the Arie Crown Theater. Sanders headlined the event, which also featured author Naomi Klein, journalist Shaun King and actor Danny Glover.

As was his signature throughout his campaign, Sanders said he is still pushing for free tuition at public colleges because it is “insane” that hundreds of thousands of bright young people can’t afford to go to college. He said he hoped in the fall that students on college campuses would stand up and protest leaving school in debt.

Sanders also talked about the success of the progressive movement — not just nationally, but globally, highlighting the accomplishment of Labour Party candidate Jeremy Corbyn in the recent U.K. election. Under the leadership of Corbyn, the Labour Party gained 32 seats in Parliament, and gave the party its biggest vote share increase since 1945, according to the Daily Telegraph.

“Our ideas and our progressive vision — we are the future of this country,” Sanders said. “We are in this together and always have been.”

RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United, spoke before Sanders and introduced him to the audience. DeMoro praised Sanders for giving a voice to the “silent narrative” in America.

DeMoro said she enjoyed the “bubble of love” she felt around the summit and said Sanders’ campaign “wasn’t about Bernie.” She said Sanders had fought for the American people during his run for the presidency, and the run was part of a journey to better society.

Tonight, this is our revolution, this is our country and we’re taking it back,” DeMoro said.

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