Bernie’s Back: AOC Backs Sanders as 26,000 Rally in NYC at Largest Presidential Rally of 2019

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Vermont independent senator and 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held the largest campaign rally of the primary season so far on Saturday. An estimated 26,000 supporters packed into Queensbridge Park in New York City. The event was held in the shadow of the nation’s largest public housing development. It was Sanders’s first campaign rally since he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. Sanders was joined on stage by three prominent supporters: Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; filmmaker Michael Moore; and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who volunteered on Sanders’s 2016 campaign before being elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sanders at the rally.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Bernie Sanders held the largest campaign rally of the presidential primary season so far on Saturday. An estimated 26,000 supporters packed into Queensbridge Park in New York City. The event was held in the shadow of the nation’s largest public housing development. It was Sanders’ first campaign rally since he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. He was joined on stage by three prominent supporters: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and filmmaker Michael Moore.

MICHAEL MOORE: The powers that be are very unhappy that you’re here. They’re very unhappy that Bernie is back. And so they are doing everything they can to throw everything they can come up with to get people to think differently about Bernie, to get people repeating their tropes. We know what they are, right? We’ve heard them. They want everybody to repeat them. They got all the pundits repeating it on the news. And now they want the — they want the average American repeating it. So, what do they say? “Bernie’s too old! Bernie’s too old!” Yeah, well, here’s what’s too old: The Electoral College is too old. That’s what’s too old. A $7.25 minimum wage, that’s too old! Women not being paid the same as men, that’s too old! Thousands and thousands of dollars of student debt, what is that?

CROWD: Too old!

MICHAEL MOORE: Too old! A $10,000 deductible for your healthcare, what is that?

CROWD: Too old!

MICHAEL MOORE: Superdelegates, what’s that?

CROWD: Too old!

MICHAEL MOORE: Fossil fuel, what’s that?

CROWD: Too old!

MICHAEL MOORE: That’s what’s too old. … The next thing they say is, “What about Bernie’s health? What about his health?” How about we talk about the health of this planet, that’s dying? That’s the health I care about.

CROWD: Green New Deal! Green New Deal! Green New Deal!

MICHAEL MOORE: A Green New Deal!

CROWD: Green New Deal!

MICHAEL MOORE: Green New Deal! Green New Deal!

CROWD: Green New Deal! Green New Deal! Green New Deal!

MICHAEL MOORE: What about — what about the health of the kids in Flint, Michigan? What about that health? Talk about that on cable news. What about the health of 40 million people who live in poverty? What about — what about the health of the young black male who’s shot in the back by the police? What about that health?

CROWD: Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!

MICHAEL MOORE: Black Lives Matter!

CROWD: Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!

MICHAEL MOORE: The only heart attack — the only heart attack we should be talking about is the one Wall Street is going to have when Bernie Sanders is president of the United States! Now it is my honor to introduce to you one of the original, as Trump put it, “nasty women,” the brave and courageous and necessary mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayor Carmen Cruz! Let’s hear it for her!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: September 20th, one of those days where your life changes forever, two hurricanes, not one, had hit Puerto Rico. Times were hard. There was no food, no electricity, no water, no medicine. Help was not getting there. We were dying. And President Trump was killing us with his bureaucracy and his inefficiency. You know, he said he couldn’t get help to Puerto Rico because we are “an island surrounded by water, lots and lots of water, ocean water.” That is a quote from the president of the United States.

Now, in the midst of all that darkness, one man came down to visit me. And I have to tell you, I was not a Bernie supporter in 2016. I was not. But I started feeling the Bern when he came down to the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico — no cameras, no show, just a man with a big heart, with a lot of passion and a lot of compassion. And he won me over. …

I’m no climate change expert; I am a climate change survivor I don’t know how warm the ocean is going to get or how high the tides are going to go.

CROWD MEMBER: Ask the scientists!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: Say it louder.

CROWD: Ask the scientists!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: Say it louder.

CROWD: Ask the scientists!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: Say it louder!

CROWD: Ask the scientists!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: I do know this one thing: Climate change is real. Climate change kills. Three thousand Puerto Ricans did not open their eyes this morning because of a president that was too concerned about looking good rather than doing good. And, yes, we are not going to spend too much time talking about a racist, demagogue, xenophobic, racist, paper-throwing president.

CROWD: Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up! Lock him up!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: You know what?

CROWD: Lock him up! Lock him up!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: You know what?

CROWD: Lock him up! Lock him up!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: Let’s vote him out! Vote him out! Vote him out! Vote him out! Vote him out!

CROWD: Vote him out! Vote him out!

MAYOR CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ: So, the time is now — the time is now to be uncompromising. The time is now to be relentless. The time is now to be fearless. The time is now to be full. The time is now to stand with Bernie Sanders.

TIFFANY CABÁN: Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Holy cow! What’s up, New York City? …

I’m in the United States Congress now. And that’s a long, long way from being a sexually harassed waitress in downtown Manhattan one year ago. However, in this new, historic freshman congressional class, an overwhelming amount of them now reject corporate PAC money. That’s thanks to Bernie. An enormous amount of the House of Representatives endorse Medicare for All. That’s thanks to Bernie. More people now than ever recognize the climate crisis as an existential threat but also our greatest economic opportunity, and that’s thanks not just to the climate work of Bernie Sanders, but to climate activists that are part of mass movement politics in the United States. …

We need a United States that really, truly and authentically is operated, owned and decided by working and all people in the United States of America. That is what — it is multiracial, multigendered, multigenerational and multigeographic. We have to come together, not ignoring our differences, but listening to them, prioritizing them, understanding injustice, understanding that we operate in a context where slavery evolved into Jim Crow, evolved into mass incarceration, evolved into the realities we have today. …

And with that, I’d like to introduce the man, the ally — I call him Tío Bernie. Maybe to my goddaughter he’s Huelo. Maybe to some others he’s Brother. But he is my Tío Bernie Sanders.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Today, unbelievably, while we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth, 25 hedge fund managers make twice as much money as all of the kindergarten teachers in America. We are going to honor our teachers, not the hedge fund managers. And that is going to change under our administration. Today the three wealthiest Americans own more wealth than the bottom half of American society. And the top 1% have seen their wealth increase by $21 trillion over the last 30 years. And today we say to Wall Street and the billionaire class, “You ain’t gonna get it all anymore.” …

Now, right across the street from where we are at this moment is New York City’s largest fossil fuel power plant. And let us be clear: It is no secret that that plant is located right next to the city’s largest public housing development. Together, we will pass a Green new Deal that will end the environmental racism we see right here in Queens and in similar communities all across this country. Together, not only will we clean up our environment, but we will finally put an end to environmental racism. …

If you are willing to love, if you are willing to fight for a government of compassion and justice and decency, if you are willing to stand up to Trump’s desire to divide us up, if you are prepared to stand up to the greed and corruption of the corporate elite, if you and millions of others are prepared to do that, there is no doubt in my mind that not only will we win this election, but together we will transform this country. Thank you all very much!

AMY GOODMAN: 2020 presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders speaking on Saturday at a massive rally in Queens, New York. He was endorsed by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and filmmaker Michael Moore. The rally was held in Queensbridge Park, between the nation’s largest public housing development and the largest power plant in New York City.

When we come back, seven Catholic peace activists go on trial today for breaking into the Kings Bay nuclear submarine base in Georgia. We’ll speak to 79-year-old peace activist Liz McAlister. If convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison. Stay with us.

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Kings Bay Plowshares 7: Trial Begins for Liz McAlister & Others for Breaking Into Nuke Sub Base

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