A Disney like queue extending a couple blocks serpentined back and forth. BUT the line was moving when we arrived. Canvassers and button and tshirt sellers broke up the monotony of the stand still times. We were super fortunate the morning rains had ceased. It could have been really nasty.
Security was made clear early on in the line. Think airport- metal detectors, no bags allowed, phones had to be on, no sharp objects, purses would be searched, etc... No e cigarettes? OK, not a prob. After clearing security, we filed into the open arena space.
The space, well, was less than stellar as folks had to stand the entire time. That's right no bleachers nor chairs. Standing room only. Our group plopped to the cement floor and played some card Scrabble to pass the time. With an hour to go, we stood up achy from the cement floor. We were the elders as this crowd wasn't all white haired folks, it was much younger, a lot of college aged students. Noise and restlessness increased as the 7 pm time neared and passed. All 3300+ folks were ready.
|Cathy Van Maren|
Ho Chunk Nation President
A giant ROAR from the crowd.
First, Senator Sanders thanked us for coming and quickly surveyed us by a show of hands of how many had already voted. He emphasized this election can only be won if we get out the vote.
Then Mr. Sanders lit into a list of injustices of the people of the U.S. :
*broken treaties and the indigenous land ethic
*environmental issues against fracking, the quality of water
*moral obligation for our children vs short term profit
*erasing college debt, we bailed out Wall Street now it's time for Wall Street to help out education
* alarming incarceration rates of minorities, prison system needs to be revamped, jail shouldn't be for profit
* youth unemployment college degree is what a high school degree once was and everyone's entitled to an education, should be able to refinance their school debt at lowest interest rate as going to school shouldn't be a debt sentence.
*pay equity for women $.79/1.00 is not good enough, men should support women in achieving that too
* raising minimum wage to $15/hr
*every citizen being automatically registered to vote at age 18
*Healthcare reform, Medicare for all, Health care is a right. Pharmaceutical prices are out of control
*campaign reform, amount of $ spent is incomprehensible
*legalization of marijuana and addiction treated as health issue
*war policies, he didn't vote for Iraq
*vet treatment, medical needs to be better including mental health care
I'm sure I forgot some... The man was impressive.
The sheer number of people crammed into the space, TV lights and no air flow caused a couple of folks to need medical attention as they suffered from heat exhaustion and started dropping like flies. Bernie stopped his speech and waited for the Medics to assist.
Sanders's a mensch and his genuineness was undeniable. He didn't just invent his platform, he has always fought for the issues.
What's not to love about a candidate who is not about dividing and conquering but rather about uniting in coalition with others to win for an all inclusive America?
Oh yeah, I felt the Bern.
FEELIN' THE BERN