Thousands Rally for Sanders Ahead of Critical Wisconsin Primary
TRNN speaks to some of the thousands who attended a Bernie Sanders rally, two days before voters head to the polls in Wisconsin
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: Thousands attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Madison two days before the critical Wisconsin primary, where Sanders is locked in a tight race with [opponent] Hillary Clinton.
BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you, Madison.
NOOR: Sanders told the crowd the country needs a political revolution to end the domination of money over politics.
SANDERS: What this campaign is about is taking on status quo politics, status quo economics, status quo media. And it is about a campaign which is more than just electing a President of the United States although I would very much appreciate your support. It is about creating a political revolution. It is about the understanding that no President not Bernie Sanders or anyone else can do it alone because the powers that control our political system today. The powers that control our economy today, have so much money and so much influence that no president alone can successfully take them on. We need millions of people. Working people, middle class, young people to stand up and say, enough is enough.
NOOR: Polls show Sanders now leading in Wisconsin ahead of Tuesday’s primary and closing the gap on the upcoming and perhaps all important April 19th New York primary. The Brooklyn native Linda Sarsour introduced Senator Sanders.
LINDA SARSOUR: Senator Sanders has welcomed all people into his campaign. I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim, unapologetically Palestinian American, and unapologetically from Brooklyn New York. When I started supporting Bernie Sanders nobody told me look, you can’t be too Muslim up there. Don’t bring up those Palestinians. They welcomed all of me. They have welcomed my community in a way that no other campaign has. I just came from Milwaukee this morning. Standing room only, sister and brothers, for Muslims in Milwaukee who are also feeling the Bern.
NOOR: Even with a big win in Wisconsin the odds are still stacked against Senator Sanders overcoming Secretary Clinton in the delegate count in becoming the democratic nominee.
JOHN NICHOLS: There’s delegate math and everybody talks about that. You hear about it all the time on TV. But there’s also momentum math.
NOOR: Wisconsin based author John Nichols says after winning 6 of 7 of the previous caucuses Sanders brings an intangible moment into the democratic race.
NICHOLS: That momentum really gives that candidate to go forward. To go on to the big challenge in New York. So Wisconsin’s a very critical building block as regards to the rest of this campaign. For Sanders it becomes essential. It’s also significant because Hillary Clinton has campaigned hard in Wisconsin. She’s come in she’s given speeches, she’s got TV on, she’s making a full effort. So if Sanders wins it will be much like his Michigan win where you have a state that Hillary Clinton should’ve won but Bernie Sanders came and with a pretty hard bit of campaigning, took it away.
NOOR: Sanders also address Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s waive of restrictive voting laws that some say could keep hundreds of thousands from voting on Tuesday.
SANDERS: So I say to Governor Walker and to all of the other Republican Governors who are trying to suppress the vote, that if you are not prepared to run and be involved in free and open elections, get out of politics, get another job.
NICHOLS: Yea Wisconsin has the most restrictive voter ID law in the country according to many watchdog groups. It also has limited early voting. There have been a bunch of things that have happened in this state that have made voting a whole lot harder. That’s a horrible thing because Wisconsin historically was one of the easiest places to vote in the country. So the changes have been draconian and very damaging. This is the first big election where they’re being implemented fully. So we’re going to see how they effect turnout. My hope is that Wisconsinites are resilient and they’re just going to come out and vote. But we’re going to watch on Tuesday very closely and it’s not just that people are hassled over ID but it’s also the lines and how hard it is to vote because in Wisconsin we vote in April. It’s very likely that our Tuesday will be snowy and rainy and cold. So standing out in line in that kind of whether is pretty tough and so really the changes that have taken place here are especially disruptive to democracy because they just make it hard for working class people to vote so a lot of evidence is it just makes it harder for people of color, for students. And so this is just a terrible thing and I’m really quite horrified by what has occurred and passionate about changing it.
NOOR: The Real News also spoke to several Sanders supports who attended the Rally.
ANTHONY PLAGEMAM: He’s the only one that seems to be working for us. I don’t see Hillary Clinton doing anything. I definitely don’t see anyone on the Republican side doing anything for us and he seems the most genuine of them all.
NOOR: And what are the big issues for you this election?
PLAGEMAM: Definitely has to be the big banks. They tore down the economy in 08, they’re going to do it again unfortunately. Student loans, there’s too many people with over $50,000 worth of loans. Definitely minimum wage. I have a lot of families who are still working for minimum wage. Just fairness. It seems lacking in this sort of environment in the world.
SPEAKER: But probably Bernie because I like, I have a student in college and I want to see what he’s going to do regarding possibly free tuition or covering tuition of some way, so.
NOOR: What’s the tuition for him right now?
SPEAKER: He’s at University of Delaware and they’re actually charging him out of state even though he lived there his whole life. So I believe it’s about 25 grand.
SPEAKER: Cause I’m not really wild about what the Republicans are offering. I like a lot of his ideas. As long as he can bring some of the other Democrats with him over some of these older white men who aren’t doing a damn thing in Congress or the Senate. They just sit there and mumble, you know, not like you Bernie. You speak the truth.
SPEAKER: You know the economy, nation security, and quite frankly I just want to see a shift in the tide of the way things have been run. This country is on the razor’s edge of change and I think we need to end establishment politicians and I’d liked to see some sort of change. And I think Bernie’s the guy that could give it to us but I want to see what he has to say for myself.
NOOR: From Madison, this is Jaisal Noor.
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recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.