More than 17,000 Bernie Sanders fans stormed the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington like “Deadheads” following the Grateful Dead. Bernie’s fans were passionate, vocal, and very well educated on the issues. The issues most talked about were climate justice, income inequality, and more inclusive rights for indigenous people, women, and minorities.
It was fun seeing the inclusion of various Native American tribes from the Pacific Northwest and First Nations peoples from Western Canada. They were so proud to share their culture and concerns with the non-native members of the crowd.
David Z. Bean of the Puyallup Tribe gave a speech that was well-received, explaining how many tribal issues including how climate change affects fishing and other businesses for native and non-native citizens alike. He made the climate issue personal for everyone in attendance and watching at home.
Female native speakers, younger and older, talked about the plight of native women that the “mainstream” news just doesn’t cover.
Actor Tim Robbins, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, climate activist Jamie Margolin and US Representative, Pramila Jayapal all gave speeches representative of the political left in America.
Bernie and Jane Sanders took the stage together at 8 P.M. to a roaring crowd. His supporters stomped their feet loudly chanting “Green New Deal” and “Medicare For All”. Bernie and Jane looked genuinely excited and surprised by the size of the crowd. They stopped for a few moments taking it all in.
Bernie went on the attack of President Trump’s policies and his Obama era policy reversals. The crowd booed very loudly. It was almost deafening.
Sanders thunderously and passionately delivered his platform and then he didn’t waste too much time before attacking Michael Bloomberg. Bernie said, “We need a presidency and not an oligarchy!!”
Chants of Bernie, Bernie, Bernie erupted from the crowd.
He brought up Bloomberg’s “stop and frisk” policy and he accused him of racism. He followed up with Bloomberg’s opposition to raising the minimum wage.
Bernie’s lesser known proposals include raising teacher’s salaries to $60,000 per year, ending the war on drugs and on private prisons, and legalizing pot. These were huge hits for his rabid fans.
He said the Sanders Administration would not see federal officers snatching babies from mothers and he said there would be no more cages for immigrants. He said that he wants comprehensive immigration reform, gun policy written by “the people” and not by the NRA.
He would push for Roe v. Wade to become law and he would refund Planned Parenthood.
The mood of the crowd was great. They were inclusive, criticizing President Trump but not Trump supporters. With all this talk by the media of a divided country, there was no evidence of that at this rally. Sure, they attacked President Trump’s policies and brought up charges of racism, however they didn’t attack his fans at all.
That was very nice to see, and I, for one am still feeling the Bern.