Bernie Sanders Returns to Iowa City


Victor Kalil

Bernie Sanders addresses the crowd at his event in Iowa City Thursday night. Sanders was promoting his recent book.

Maya Durham and Victor Kalil

Thursday night, thousands of people anxiously gathered in Hancher Auditorium to see Senator Bernie Sanders speak. The sold out event was the first Sanders has done in the area in months and brought a sense of relief to the crowd after a tense political season.

“In the current political climate, I feel like hearing the words of Bernie after so long will be great,” said Esti Brady ‘20. “ I’m really looking forward to hearing what he has to say and how he’s doing.”

Senator Sanders spent the event speaking mainly about the “revolution” — the idea of recreating the Democratic party to be more radical in its activism and policies.

“Let me be very clear from an electoral point of view,” said Sanders. “That political revolution which today is spreading all across this country began right here in the great state of Iowa.”

Before Senator Sanders began, protesters assembled on Park Road and demonstrated dissent for socialism, led by PJ Rashed, 22. Rashed said that though his father was an immigrant and though he grew up poor, he believed the United States had a right to protect its border, and that he did not believe in a welfare state.

“[My father] was the first one to let me know that America was better than all other countries,” he said. “We need to expand on those ideas that made us great.”

Ultimately, Sanders’ event ended with all three floors of the crowd on its feet.

“The future of democracy is at stake,” he ended. “The only way we can turn it around is at the grassroots level. The only way we do that is if we stand up and fight back.”