Bernie Sanders packs Peterborough Town House for speech

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke to a crowd of at least 700 people at the Peterborough Town House on Monday, Labor Day, at a town hall/ice cream social with frozen treats provided by Ben and Jerry's. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/2/2019 6:22:27 PM

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became the latest Democratic presidential hopeful to fill the Peterborough Town House beyond capacity, as hundreds turned out on Monday afternoon for a Labor Day ice cream social and town hall. 

Those in attendance scooped up some free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream before founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield introduced the Vermont senator. Jerry Cohen pointed out that before Sanders made a national name for himself, Ben and Jerry were the most famous Vermonters, but they were happy to pass that mantle on to the possible future president. 

“Ice cream is good, but a president of the United States who truly believes in justice in all its flavors?” Cohen quipped. 

Things have been sweet for Sanders nationwide; he’s polling around 17 percent on average, according to NPR, neck-and-neck with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden. His campaign has raised the most money in the Democratic field, at $46.5 million.

Michelle Chalice of Keene has been on board with Sanders’ since the 2016 election cycle; now a volunteer, she was on hand counting people as they entered the packed town hall.

“Bernie’s been at this for a long time, and he’s solid on all the progressive items that I care the most about,” Chalice said. “Climate crisis, completely revamping our financial system here in the United States so that the regular working people have a decent wage, a decent salary for a decent lifestyle – incredibly important.”

Just like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in July, Sanders drew upwards of 700 people to his speech, bringing them to their feet for standing ovations several times. 

“Once we win the Democratic nomination, together, we are going to have the privilege and the joy of defeating the most dangerous president in the history of this country,” Sanders said. “The reason we will defeat Trump is the American people, no matter what their politics may be, don’t want someone who is a bully and a pathological liar in the Oval Office. The American people don’t want someone who’s a racist – let’s call it out as it is – who is a sexist, who is a homophobe, and who is a xenophobe and a religious bigot.”

Sanders took President Trump to task on several issues, but said that many of America’s systemic problems took root long before the 2016 election. Wealth inequality, health care costs, gun control, a woman’s right to choose, and climate change drew big pops from the crowd as Sanders railed against the political and social and financial imbalance currently helping divide our country. 

“Millions of people are living on the edge,” Sanders said. “We have 40 million people in America living in poverty while the top one-tenth of one percent hold more wealth than the bottom 90 percent...The working class of this country is sick and tired of being ripped off. They want justice, and we’re going to bring them justice.”

Sanders wrapped up his speech by urging those in attendance to get involved and help create the vision of our country he said he shares with the people of the United States.

“Right now in this unpredecentedly dangerous time in American history, we do not have the luxury of throwing up our hands in despair and saying ‘Oh God, there’s nothing to be done,’” Sanders said. “We don’t have the luxury of becoming depressed and withdrawing from political activity. Quite the contrary. If there was ever a moment in American history where we have got to be intensely involved, this is the moment. And the good news, the really good news, having been all over this country, is the vast majority of the American people want to create a government and an economy based on justice, not greed. They want economic justice for workers, they want social justice, they want racial justice, they want environmental justice. That is what the American people want, and our job is to tell the corporate elite and the one percent that their greed and corruption is going to end and end soon, and that is what this campaign is all about.”


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