Our network

Bernie Sanders speaks at packed Fox Theatre | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Bernie Sanders speaks at packed Fox Theatre

ATLANTA – Blue warriors in a red state were on fire for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Monday night in Atlanta.

A standing room-only crowd of mostly college age voters packed the Fox Theater, to show their support for Sanders and the political revolution they believe he represents.

Sanders, a Democratic Senator from Vermont, promised a host of government programs for the poor and middle class, such as universal health care, and free public colleges.

"We will guarantee to all of our people the great promise -- the birthright of America -- which is freedom and justice," Sanders said.  "Every kid in this country who studies hard, who takes school seriously, will be able to get a college education regardless of income."

Attendees at Monday’s rally booed Wall Street as Sanders blamed the richest one percent for many of the nation’s problems and for income inequality. The crowd cheered Sanders for declaring war on billionaires.

"This great country and our government belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires," Sanders said.  "The powers that be -- corporate America, Wall Street, the huge campaign contributors, the corporate media -- these folks are so powerful that no president can do what has to be done for working families unless millions of people join the political revolution.... And this campaign is sending a message to the Billionaire Class.  And that message is, you cannot have it all.  You are not going to get huge tax breaks when children in Georgia and Vermont go hungry.  Ain't gonna happen.... You are not going to cut the wages and the benefits and the pensions of workers, and then give the CEOs of large corporations outrageous compensation packages."

Sanders talked of income and wealth inequality in the United States, calling it "grotesque and immoral."

Sanders is counting on young voters, especially in states like Georgia where conservatives rule.

"He really appeals towards our younger generation," said one college student in the audience, Durand Black.  "And we tend to lean towards the left side, more.  So I feel like if he continues the participation of engaging with the younger generation, we could turn this state to a blue state, over time."


Atlanta Rapper Killer Mike introduced Sanders.  Here is his introduction:

"I am honored to be here. Oh, I am truly, truly honored to be here. 

I am from Atlanta, Georgia and I say that proudly -- I repeat, I am from Atlanta, Georgia and I say that proudly.

If you’re from Atlanta, Georgia, you may be familiar with a young man who grew up not far from here. His name is Martin King.

Now, I know this is the part where usually it’s a black minister in front of you, and usually you get all warm and cozy inside, and usually you hear about ‘I have a dream,’ and us holding hands and going for ice cream.  That’s not why I’m here today.

I’m not here to talk about benevolent politicians that are going to come and save the day for you. I’m not here to talk about a dream that we think is unattainable so we settle for less. I’m not here to talk about a utopian society where everyone is forgiven and no one has to pay for past debts.

I’m talking about -- what I am talking about today is the Martin King post-the-Washington-march. Martin King present-the-war-on-poverty. Martin King against the war machine that uses your sons and your nephews to go to other lands and murder. I am talking about a revolutionary.

I have no time in my short 40 years on this earth to relive the Reagan years. I have no time, I have no desire, to see us elect our own Margaret Thatcher.

I am here as a proponent for a political revolution that says health care is a right of every citizen. I am here because working class and poor people deserve a chance at economic freedom. And yes, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be in poverty.  That’s why I’m here.

I didn’t come here to lolly-gag, ‘cause I rap.  This could be y’all’s last time seeing me, ‘cause I got tours to go on, I got jets to fly on.… But while I’m here, I have to tell you that in my heart of hearts, in my heart of hearts, I fully believe that Sen. Bernie Sanders is the right man to lead this country.

And I believe it because he, unlike any other candidate, said, 'I would like to restore the Voting Rights Act.'  He, unlike any other candidate, said, 'I wish to end this illegal war on drugs that disproportionately targets minorities and poor.'  Unlike any other candidates in my life, he said that education should be free for every citizen of this country.

Now, I only have a few minutes. But as I read the Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s comments about me speaking tonight, one [comment] jumped out at me. And it broke my heart. It says, ‘I don’t listen to rap and I’ll no longer be listening to Bernie Sanders.’  And I just want to say that, whoever wrote that -- before I was a rapper, I was a son of Atlanta.  Before I ever wrote one rhyming word on paper -- before that, I was a black man in America.  And before I ever learned how to dance a jig, I gave a damn about American politicians.  I gave a damn about the people of America. And I took to the streets.  And I advocated.

And I know I’m preaching to the choir tonight. I know there are not a lot of voices of dissension out there. I know I’m preaching to the choir. But I’m here to tell you, stay encouraged. Stay invigorated. Stay bold. Stay counter-acting bull____ at every turn.  Make sure that wherever you go, you take the name, the ideas, the philosophy and the ideology of Bernie Sanders, here.  And you make sure when you leave, they are on fire, because they have ‘Felt the Bern.’

I have said in many a rap I don’t trust the church or the government. A Democrat, Republican, a Pope or a Bishop or those other men.  But after spending five hours tonight, after spending five hours with someone who has spent the last 50 years radically fighting for your rights and mine, I can tell you that I am very proud tonight to announce the next president of the United States, Senator Bernie Sanders.  Everyone, give him a round of applause."