Politics

These 9 Photos of Massive Crowds Reacting to Bernie Sanders in L.A. Are Incredible

August 11th 2015

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Democratic primary presidential candidate Bernie Sanders met a crowd of more than 27,000 supporters at a rally held in Los Angeles on Monday, with hundreds more watching from a designated overflow lot outside the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Dozens of "Bernie 2016" posters waved in the background as the candidate and Independent Vermont senator spoke about his plans for criminal justice reform, combating income inequality, and making higher education accessible to all.

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In the last few weeks, Sanders has drawn crowds exceeding 100,000 people. From Seattle to Portland to L.A., recent rallies have seen an impressive turnout, and the momentum appears to be building. "The reason we're doing so well in this campaign is we're telling the truth," he said at the event.

Sander's new national press secretary, Black rights organizer Symone Sanders, who is of no relation to the senator and serves as the national youth chair of the Coalition on Juvenile Justice. She introduced the panel of speakers—including actress and comedian Sarah Silverman—and made opening remarks about the need for racial justice amid growing tensions between Black communities and police in the U.S. On Sunday, Sanders unveiled a four-point plan designed to address that very issue.

What was more striking than the number of supporters who showed up at the downtown arena on a Monday evening was the diversity of that crowd. College students and retirees, lifelong Democrats and passionate Independents—there was no way to peer into the stands and come to any sort of definitive conclusion about who Sanders supporter are. ATTN: attended the rally and asked people why they were there and what about the candidate appealed to them.

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"I'm here because our government has a lot of serious problems, and Bernie is the one candidate who is proposing some legitimate changes to some really fundamental problems," Michelangelo Trujillo (left) told ATTN:. "He has a great track record. There’s a lot of work we need to do, but he actually has a chance of winning, so this is a unique opportunity."

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I asked Lance MacNiven (left) what issues brought him out to the Sanders rally. "A lot of the income inequality issues, a lot of social justice stuff," he said.

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An unconventional Bernie supporter, pictured here nosing around the concession area, Mongo could be seen making rounds on the arena floor throughout the two-hour event.

"What brings you out to this event?" I asked Mongo's owner, Mike.

"Supporting Bernie," he said.

There are a variety of reasons that Mike has thrown his support to the candidate: "Healthcare as a right for everyone—that's a good start—saving the planet for the human race, returning government to the people instead of a few oligarchs with loads of money."

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"I've been out of the business for a long time," Marc-David Freed (right), a former police officer, told ATTN:. "But some of us feel that we are not willing to be pawns to the ruling class and the suppression of minorities and poor people. We are there to protect and serve, and that means protecting and serving everybody."

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"We're here to be able to see where Bernie stands on the issue," Denea Joseph, a student at UCLA, said. "We know recently he introduced his four-point plan, and we want him to elaborate on that a little bit further. I also would like to know about his immigration standing—what he feels comprehensive immigration reform would look like—and I think that once I hear that, I'll be able to weigh that against the other candidates as well."

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