Bernie Sanders Rally Proves His Commitment to a Diverse, Young Demographic

Matt Rushford, Scarlet Staff

If Bernie Sanders was trying to make a strong and lasting final impression on New Hampshire prior to last week’s Democratic primary, then his rally in the Whittemore Center Arena in University of New Hampshire’s campus on the eve of the election was very much that. With help from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and rock group The Strokes, the Democratic candidate was able to attract a crowd of around 7,500.

“Brothers and sisters, this turnout tells me why we’re going to win here in New Hampshire, why we’re going to win the Democratic nomination and why we are going to defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of America, Donald Trump,” Sanders said to the crowd. 

Sanders, and the other progressive celebrities and members of his campaign spoke to the crowd frequently circled back to how the Sanders’ campaign is backed by one of the most diverse groups in the Democratic primary.

“We need someone who’s going ham on this system,” said former Ohio State Senator and Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner. “Alone we can do very little. Together we can do so much.  We are multi-generational, multi-gender, and multi-ethnic conscious minded people.”

Turner was followed up by actress Cynthia Nixon who brought up her thought process when deciding to vote for Sanders in this upcoming election. 

“Four years ago I supported Hillary Clinton for president,” said Nixon. After mild clamoring began to erupt from the crowd, Nixon followed up by saying “we’re not gonna do that here.” The reply was met with applause from the audience. 

Noted philosopher and political activist Cornel West continued the chain of speakers with a speech talking about coming together to fight against injustice. 

“We got to have moral and spiritual power behind our movement,” said West. “Are we going to stay together, are we going to fight together, are we going to go all the way together behind Bernie Sanders? Stay strong.”

With the crowd already moved, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez brought energy in the arena to a fever pitch as she called out other candidates in the Democratic primary.

“When it comes to politics, you get what you pay for,” she said. “And when you have candidates bankrolled by billionaires, who are they going to work for? Who do you think they’re gonna work for?” 

Following Sanders’ speech, The Strokes brought a change of pace to the event, while still remaining politically pointed. A particularly entertaining piece of the show was the finale, in which the band performed their song “New York City Cops” as a policeman gripped Casablancas on the shoulder following the bands invitation to audience members to come on the stage. 

“It was not on our set list,” Casablancas told Rolling Stone following the performance. “The cops had turned the lights on, so we were like, ‘Let’s just play “New York City Cops,” then, as a farewell.’ One of them grabbed my arm. I was like, ‘Oh, damn, am I about to get arrested right now?”

Sanders, who is coming off a victory in the New Hampshire primary, is now looking forward towards the upcoming Nevada Democratic caucus, taking place on Saturday, February 22.

“At the end of the day, if we do not allow Trump and his friends to divide us up by the color of our skin, or our sexual orientation or where we are born, if we are prepared to stand for justice and stand together, there are a hell of a lot more people in the ninety-nine percent than the one percent.”