SANTA MONICA, Calif. – To chants of “Bernie or Bust,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders told a roaring crowd of supporters on Tuesday that he will carry his White House campaign and their fight for a political revolution to this summer’s Democratic National Convention.
“The struggle continues,” he declared to the loudest cheers of the night in the climax of the speech.
He said he would campaign in next Tuesday’s final primary in Washington, D.C., the last contest in the nationwide series of primaries and caucuses that began last winter in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“Then we are going to take the fight for social, economic and racial justice to Philadelphia,” he told the 3,300 people packed inside an airplane hangar. “We will continue to fight for every vote and every delegate.”
The late-night crowd was dominated by young people who have been a major key to the success of Sanders’ campaign. “I am enormously optimistic about the future of our country when so many young people have come on board and understand that our vision of social justice, economic justice, racial justice and environmental justice must be the future of America,” the senator from Vermont told the rally.
He spoke about the upcoming general election and defeating Donald Trump. “Our campaign from day one has understand that we will not allow right-wing Republicans to control our government. And that is especially true with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate,” Sanders said. “The American people in my view will never support a candidate whose major theme is bigotry who insults Mexicans, who insults Muslims and women and African Americans. We will not allow Donald Trump to become president of the United States.”
But he said the grassroots campaign that gave him victories in 22 states has another goal.
“Our mission is more than just defeating Trump it is transforming our country,” Sanders said. That mission includes ending wealth and income inequality and junking the corrupt campaign finance system that props up a rigged economy. “Democracy is not about billionaires buying elections.” He said it includes reforming the criminal justice system, breaking up big bans, providing health care as a right to all citizens, reforming our broken immigration system and making the billionaires and profitable corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
“What this is about is millions of people from coast to coast knowing that we can do much, much better as a nation,” Sanders said. “Our fight is to transform this country and to understand that we are in this together, understand that all of what we believe is what the majority of American people believe and to understand that the struggle continues.”