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Sanders brings thousands to UB

Posted at 12:47 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 08:00:54-04

In the pouring rain, they poured in.

Hours before Bernie Sanders was set to arrive, several thousand people flooded University at Buffalo's campus.  They waited in the rain, on muddy ground, for the Democratic Presidential hopeful's 7pm rally to energize Western New Yorkers ahead of the New York Primary on April 19th.

By 4pm, people began filing into Alumni Arena. It didn't take long for the venue to reach maximum capacity, with nearly 10,000 people packing in.  Hundreds of supporters were turned away at the door, but their effort didn't go unnoticed.

Before entering the Arena, Sanders greeted the 'overflow' supporters, spending time shaking hands and taking photographs.

Once inside, Sanders was given a rock star's welcome.

"This campaign is going to win because we are listening to the American people," Sanders told the excited crowd.

As expected, much of the Vermont Senator's speech had a tone of activism, including a focus on wage inequality, corrupt police, education and a "war on drugs."

"I believe that healthcare is a right of all people, not a privilege," Sanders said before an eruption of cheers.

He also spoke passionately about his care for the environment.

"When we talk about crises facing this country, there is no crisis that I worry about more than climate change."

Playing to the crowd, Sanders also took aim at his political antithesis, Republican candidate Donald Trump. 

"I know that many Americans are worried about the possibility of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.  It ain't 'gonna happen!" 

"Donald Trump will not become president because the American people know coming together... always trumps dividing us up," Sanders said.

There were some jabs to his Democratic opponent, too.  Sanders took aim at Hillary Clinton's relationships with big banks, and called on Clinton to release the transcripts of speeches she gave Wall Street.

Sanders' rally lasted over an hour.  He spoke several times about creating a "political revolution."

"On April 19th, New York can make history. Let's do it."