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Sanders: 'This campaign is listening to young people'

Sen. Bernie Sanders thrilled a packed Alumni Arena at the University at Buffalo Monday night as he told the 8,500 people who came to see him that the New York primary could be part of his political revolution.

"I will hope that a week from tomorrow, New York State has the largest voter turnout in the history of America. ... On April 19, New York can make history. Let's do it!" he said to cheers.

The Democratic presidential candidate's supporters lined up for hours in the rain outside of the arena Monday and the line wound around the stadium. Thousands more were left outside and Sanders delighted them by giving them a short impromptu speech at a podium set up outside the venue before his rally.

[Related gallery: Bernie Sanders visits Buffalo]

Once inside, he spoke for about an hour, vowing to take on corporations like Goldman Sachs, addressing police brutality against African Americans, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, ensuring health care for all and fighting to stop climate change.

He drew differences between himself and his rival, Hillary Clinton, and promised the crowd that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump would not be the next president of the U.S. "It ain't gonna happen!" he said.


8:35 p.m. - The speech is over, but you can watch The News' Facebook stream of it right here:


We're broadcasting live from Bernie Sanders' rally at the University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena. More live updates here:

Posted by The Buffalo News on Monday, April 11, 2016


8:30 p.m. - Sanders said the New York primary on April 19 could be part of a political revolution.

"When we have a large voter turnout, we win," Sanders said. "When there is a low voter turnout, we lose. I will hope that a week from tomorrow, New York State has the largest voter turnout in the history of America."

"On April 19, New York can make history. Let's do it!" he declared in closing his speech.

Huge cheers erupt from a crowd as David Bowie's "Starman" plays.

8:23 p.m. - The crowd screams as Sanders talks about the possibility of Donald Trump becoming president. ""I know many are worried about Trump becoming president. It ain't gonna happen!"

"Coming together in our diversity always trumps dividing us up," Sanders said.

He continues with all the things that "trump" varying things.

"Maybe most profoundly what the American people know is what every major religion has taught whether it's Christianity, Judiasm, Islam ... is that love trumps hatred," he said.

8:21 p.m. - Sanders on healthcare: "I believe health care is a right of all people."

He said the Affordable Health Care Act has done some important things. "Despite that, 29 million have no health insurance and many of you are underinsured with high deductibles and copayments and everyone one of us is getting ripped off by the drug companies."

He said that why "I believe we must move toward Medicare for all - a singer payer program."


8:14 p.m. - Sanders is talking directly to the university students in the crowd.

"This campaign is listening to young people," Sanders said. "... We are going to create an economy where young people will have a decent standard of living."

He said young people have asked him "How does it happen that because we do the right thing we end up $30,000, $50,000, 70,000 in debt?"

To have the best educated workforce and to be able to compete in a global economy," he called making public colleges and universities "tuition-free."


7:56 p.m. - Sanders is drawing differences between himself and Hillary Clinton.

He said Clinton just reported $25 million from special interests, including $15 million from Wall Street. He points out that Clinton received $250,000 from giving a speech before Goldman Sachs. "I figure if she gets $250,000 for a speech it must be a brilliant, earth-shattering speech. It must be a speech written in Shakespearean prose. And if that speech was so great, I think she should release the transcript."

He said Clinton would release her transcripts if every one else did the same.

Sanders said: "Buffalo are you ready for a dramatic announcement? I am prepared to release all of the transcripts of all of the speeches... of all of the speeches that I gave on Wall Street. That is easy. There were no speeches."

He is also taking about their differences on trade policy. He realizes trade policy is "not a sexy issue." In Buffalo alone, Sanders said, NAFTA has resulted in the loss of 31,000 manufacturing jobs, he said, and 3 million were lost following trade agreements with China.

He gave a list of other local companies that moved jobs overseas.

"And on and on it goes, Sanders said. "I voted against every one of these disastrous trade agreements," he said. Sec. Clinton supported virtually every trade policy, he said.

7:46 p.m. - Bernie Sanders is touching on all of his platforms and the crowd is eating it up.

He criticized Goldman Sachs, then took on Verizon for outsourcing call center jobs. He said the campaign finance system is corrupt and said WalMart should pay its workers a living wage.

"Together, we will create an economy that works for all of us," he said.

He called on investment in education and the war on drugs which unfairly targets African Americans. "No one things marijuana is equivalent to a killer drug like heroin," he said.


7:43 p.m. - Bernie Sanders said he wanted to talk about two issues.

First he said, Goldman Sachs reached a settlement with the federal government for $5 billion. "They were ripping off the American people," he said. "It's not just Goldman Sachs," he said.

"The business model of Wall Street is fraud. They could care less about small or medium sized businesses. They could care less. Their only goal is to make as much money as they can for themselves."

He said it's an example of why "we are going to break up the largest financial institutions on our nation."

Issue 2: He said that just about earlier he stopped at the local CWA union hall.

"They are going on strike," he said of Verizon workers with CWA. He said Verizon is reflecting what corporate America is doing elsewhere by "asking them to pay more for healthcare and cutting other  benefits."

Verizon, he said, is "a very profitable corporation is outsourcing call service jobs to the Philippines."

Sanders charged: "Verizon is not investing in inner cities, in Buffalo N.Y. and over the years Verizon has made billions of dollars in profit but in a given year has not paid a nickel in taxes."

"To make billions in profit, to outsource american jobs and not invest, to demand that workers get their benefits cut is what the greed of corporate America is all about," Sanders said.  "We are going to change that."


7:30 p.m. - Bernie Sanders takes the stage at Alumni Arena to deafening screams.


7:25 p.m.  -  Our Jerry Zremski says that there were 2,700 people outside when Sanders did his impromptu speech.


Now, Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" is playing inside the arena.

7:14 p.m. -
Sanders is delighting the crowd of people who were still lined up outside Alumni Arena and couldn't get in. He is speaking at a podium that was set up outside next to the venue:

Follow on Periscope:


"We need a political revolution," Sanders said.

"We are going to invest in our crumbling infrastructure," he tells the crowd.

"In many respects a college degree today is the equivalent of what a high school degree was 50 years ago," he said. "Today we have got to rethink what public education means.... We need to make public colleges an universities tuition free," he said to loud enthusiastic screams.

"This campaign and I understand climate change is real and we have a moral responsibility to lead this planet in a way that his healthy and habitable for our children and our grandchildren."

"If the voter turn out is high, we win," he told the crowd. "Let's put New York State on the record as going forward with the political revolution."

The crowd shouted Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!


7:04 p.m. - The crowd inside Alumni Arena is getting excited.



6:44 p.m. - It's apparently not a rumor. A police officer just confirmed to our Michael Canfield that Sanders will talk to the overflow crowd outside the arena.



6:41 p.m.  - A podium has been hastily set up outside Alumni Arena where many Sanders fan were shut out after the crowd hit capacity.

There's a rumor going around Sanders will take the podium. Just a rumor....




6:27 p.m. - The arena is now full. No more people are being allowed in.

People still outside are being ushered toward a big monitor set up for them to be able to see the events:


In the meantime, Katrinna  Martin-Bordeau of Young Black Democrats of Western New York is on the podium. "This is the time for a revolution," she said.


6:14 p.m.  - The program has started inside Alumni Arena. First up was a representative from the Communications Workers of America. Simultaneously, Sanders was meeting with CWA members in a union hall in Cheektowaga ahead of his scheduled appearance at 7 p.m. Next up at the podium is the founder of the group, Western New York Muslims.


5:59 p.m. - The line to get into Sanders' event at UB stretches all the way around the stadium. Lots of enthusiasm inside and out. Sanders is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m.






5:55 p.m.  - Sen. Bernie Sanders first stop in Buffalo: a local union hall of the Communications Workers of America.

He told CWA Local 1122 members in Cheektowaga: "We are going to grow the trade union movement in this country."

Verizon "sure as hell should not be sending call-center jobs to the Philippines," he said.


5:52 p.m.  - UB Alumni Arena is filling up fast while the line outside wraps halfway around the stadium.


5:46 p.m. - There's still a long line to get into Alumni Arena.



Here's one way around the line:


5:37 p.m. - Bernie Sanders' first stop in Buffalo is a local union hall of the Communications Workers of America:



5:27 p.m. - Here he is:



5:21 p.m. - For those still in line to get into Alumni Arena to hear Bernie Sanders tonight, you're going to have to ditch your umbrella. Security is not letting people in.



5:13 p.m. - Bernie Sanders' plane has landed in Cheektowaga.




5:09 p.m.  - Bernie Sanders was in Binghamton earlier today where he called for a nationwide ban on fracking. News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski reports that the move helps Sanders differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton who has said she would allow the controversial oil and gas drilling method in limited circumstances.

Here's one of Sanders' tweets on why he opposes fracking:


4:59 p.m. - There are some very enthusiastic Bernie supporters out at the University at Buffalo this afternoon.

Take a look at these leggings:


And how about this Bernie-themed fashion statement:



But most of the Bernie fashion this wet afternoon is more like this:


Bernie Sanders fan stands in line. (Mark Mulville)

or this stunning number:


Bernie Sanders fans standing in the rain. (Robert Kirkham)

Then there's this guy:



4:49 p.m. - Check out the crowd filing in to Alumni Arena:



4:14 p.m. - Doors are open but the line stretches beyond the stadium at UB North this afternoon.

3:49 p.m. - Here's a video by the UB Spectrum, UB's student paper, of what the line this morning looked like for student priority tickets to Sanders' rally tonight.



3:42 p.m. - The doors to Alumni Arena at the University at Buffalo's North Campus won't open until 4 p.m., but supporters of Bernie Sanders have already been lined up for hours to hear him speak tonight.


There's hardly any parking on campus this afternoon and Sanders organizers are recommending anyone hoping to attend tonight's rally to carpool or take public transit.

This is from Sanders' website: "The NFTA Bus, Campus UB Blue Line Shuttle and Stampede Bus all stop at or near the Arena. More information on public transit options can be found here."


Want to catch up on our campaign coverage? Here are some of our recent stories. click on the headline to see the full story:

College students flock to see Bernie Sanders, but can they vote for him?

In New York, the deadline for being able to vote in next Tuesday’s primary passed on March 25 – while the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns were still busy working other states with earlier primaries and caucuses.

Those enrolled in another party or none at all had to switch to being a Democratic, if they want to choose between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, by last Oct. 9.

Supporters of Sanders recognize, and are concerned, that in the last week of the state campaign the senator might be energizing New Yorkers who cannot legally vote. On the flip side is his challenger, Hillary Clinton, who has been engaging the Democratic Party infrastructure at her disposal – from unions to local political clubs and state lawmakers – to get her supporters to polling places next week.


Trump rally shifted to next Monday because of Bandits game

Officials putting together details for Donald Trump’s upcoming Buffalo visit said his rally that had been scheduled for Sunday night at First Niagara Center is being moved to next Monday for logistical reasons, not because of any concerns about protesters, as some Trump critics are claiming.

“No one is concerned about protesters,” said Erie County Republican Party Chairman Nicholas Langworthy. He said a Buffalo Bandits game the night before was going keep the Trump campaign from getting access to the arena until 6 a.m. Sunday. That was not enough time to both do the staging work and meet concerns raised by the Secret Service, Langworthy said.

“It was too tight a constraint,” he said.


On the campaign trail

Where the candidates are today and through the New York Primary.

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