South Carolina

‘Not me. Us.’: Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders calls for action at Rock Hill rally

Wearing shirts with the words “Not me. Us,” students gathered Friday in Winthrop University’s outdoor amphitheater.

They cheered as Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders took the stage.

Sanders, 78, said his campaign’s main message is one of people coming together to make a difference.

“The only way real change ever takes place ... is when millions of people stand up and demand it,” he said.

The Vermont independent, who sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2016, addressed a crowd of more than 800 students and community members Friday.

“What we are trying to do in this campaign is to create a political revolution. It’s a campaign that says ‘us, not me’ because I can’t do it alone,” Sanders said.

Advocating for the cancellation of student debt, Medicare for all, and actions on climate change, Sanders echoed many of the same points he made during a June visit to Rock Hill’s historically black Clinton College.

Sanders said his campaign is not solely about defeating President Donald Trump in 2020.

“This campaign is about transforming this country and creating a government ... and an economy that works for all of us, not just the top one percent,” Sanders said.

Sanders spoke on raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Some states have adopted higher minimum wages, including Florida, New Jersey and Minnesota, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Sanders said he wants to make it easier for employees to join unions.

“Union workers make more money than non union workers,” he said.

Students in the audience cheered as Sanders advocated for canceling all student debt in the country and making college accessible to all.

Sanders said the country needs to “invest in young people and education rather than more jobs and incarceration.”

Sanders’ stance on climate change was also met with cheers from the Winthrop crowd.

“Scientists are telling us that if we don’t act boldly, within the next few years the damage done in this country will be irreparable,” he said.

Sanders also said he plans to reform immigration and create paths to citizenship in the United States.

“We will develop a humane boarder policy which does not snatch babies away from the arms of their mothers,” Sanders said.

Sanders appeared at the rally with former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner and Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream — both co-chairs of his presidential campaign, according to a statement from Winthrop.

“He’s been a long distance runner ... for justice for a very long time,” Turner said.

Actor and activist Danny Glover, star of the “Lethal Weapon” films, also showed his support Friday.

“We have to stand up for the future .. for the planet, for humanity, for the world,” he said.

The event was sponsored by Winthrop’s College Democrats.

Sanders is making his rounds at colleges across the country. He spoke at UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus Thursday afternoon.

Sanders said young people need to vote.

“The future of this country and the world rests with you,” he said.

Eight Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sanders, have been to Rock Hill in recent months, The Herald previously reported.

Voters have come out to see former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke; U.S. Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, who withdrew from the race in July; U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris; former vice president Joe Biden; and most recently, former hedge fund investor and activist Tom Steyer.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.
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