Medford held a Bernie Sanders rally Saturday, January 23rd at the Vogel Plaza. With nearly 100 attendees, Wes Brain, one of the organizers of the rally called it a “terrific turnout.” People of all ages showed up holding ‘anti-TPP’ and ‘Single-Payer’ signs high throughout the event.
Though there were the occasional passersby who jeered at the crowd, the overall support from traffic and pedestrians was substantial. “I bet we can get 1000 supporters to attend the next one,” Brain said.
Over the course of the hour long rally, many people had a chance to use the megaphone, such as a wal-mart employee, a member of the Oregon fair trade campaign, and a hispanic woman holding a sign that read “sin de puente” (no bridge). Each told their story and gave their reasons why they supported Bernie Sanders. The most common theme was, “Bernie Sanders is the voice of the working people.” This would often lead to the crowd chanting “15 now,” referring the Sanders’ goal to raise the minimum wage to 15$ an hour, and “No TPP,” which protested the trans-pacific partnership agreement.
Another theme in the rally was free healthcare. After one of the speakers would finish, the crowd would begin chanting “Everybody in, nobody out,” referring to Sanders’ all inclusive healthcare plan. Along the same line, the crowd would also shout “Single-Payer,” which is the healthcare system where a single entity collects all healthcare fees and cover costs, which theoretically ensures every citizen has access to personalized healthcare.
When asking supporters why they preferred Sanders over Hillary Clinton, their responses were by and large the same: “Hillary has fallen way short when it comes to standing up for the working people.” One supporter even said, “Hillary is just so disconnected from us, I don’t think she really cares.”
The rally concluded at the final stretch of sun before the clouds rolled in. “It stayed sunny enough just for the rally,” Wes said over the megaphone, “That’s gotta mean something, right, folks?” The crowd cheered.