Bernie Sanders Rally

At Syracuse campaign stop, Senator Bernie Sanders calls for love to trump hatred

Sanders is third presidential hopeful to speak in Central New York in the past week.

Thousands of people gathered at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center in Syracuse on Tuesday to show their support for Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and to hear the Brooklynite grandfather’s stump speech in person.

Supporters of all ages waited in a line that wound around the block, some having camped out since 6:30 a.m. Inside the convention center hall, groups of people sat on the floor as the crowd milled about, waiting for the rally to begin. Homemade signs danced above heads, with slogans such as “Bern the Oligarchy,” “Mother Nature Endorses Bernie,” and one sign which used a column of check marks to compare the attributes of Bernie Sanders and Jesus. 

"At the end of the day, love always trumps hatred.”
- Bernie Sanders

It was a sight to behold for singer-songwriter Joe Driscoll, head of the Syracuse for Sanders coalition. Driscoll opened the rally with a short performance; it also happened to be his birthday.

“If [Bernie] wins the popular vote and it is denied him by the superdelegates, there will be a revolution,” said Driscoll, referring to the hundreds of delegates who are allowed to vote for whichever candidate they choose at the democratic convention, regardless of how their constituents voted.

The revolution Driscoll hopes for is peaceful, but the tension surrounding the nomination process and the anger directed at the establishment are rippling through both parties this season. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has earned a spotlight for channeling that anger in his supporters.

“I think they’re essentially on the same platform, saying the system is rigged. … It’s not working for the common man,” said Driscoll of Trump and Sanders. “I feel Trump supporters’ anger and I wish they would check out Bernie’s platform and listen to him speak and realize that the Mexicans, the Muslims, the foreigners — they’re not the people who caused this problem.”

Award-winning actress Rosario Dawson took to the podium before Sanders with a speech that conveyed sincerity and urgency. When Sanders entered, the hall exploded in applause and cheers. The senator spoke for 75 minutes, touching on nearly every major campaign issue, including criminal justice and campaign finance reform, ending the war on drugs, and curbing both the causes and effects of climate change.

Video produced by Danielle Gehman

Near the end of his remarks, Sanders mentioned Donald Trump, and the reaction of the crowd was a visceral boo. He started again, and again, the crowd booed. On the third try, he managed to finish his thought about his Republican rival, a thought which compelled the crowd to cheer even more loudly than they’d booed just moments before.

“America is about supporting each other, which always Trumps selfishness,” said Sanders. “The reason that Trump will not become president is the American people understand in their hearts what every major religion on Earth has taught us — whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or whatever — and that is, that at the end of the day, love always trumps hatred.” 

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