Hundreds of supporters of Vermont Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders lined up to hear him speak at a Barnes & Noble in New York City’s Midtown Manhattan on Monday evening.
The event was part of a book tour for his new book Our Revolution, the new political memoir written by Sanders. The book is part memoir of his groundbreaking presidential run and part vision for the future of American progressivism.
Our Revolution is currently a bestseller on Amazon.
— RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) November 18, 2016
Some of the Sanders supporters spent the previous night on the street to ensure there would be a place for them during the reading, according to a report by Adam Gabbatt for The Guardian.
Gregory Fritz, Jr. waited outside the Barnes & Noble since 6:30 p.m. Sunday night. The 39-year-old drove from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, “and slept under ‘a couple of blankets’ in order to be the first in line to meet Sanders,” Gabbatt wrote.
Those in attendance at the book signing because they had been inspired by the leftist-populist speeches Bernie Sanders gave during his presidential campaign were undoubtedly pleased by what they heard Monday.
Sanders stuck to much of his standard anti-establishment fare, but highlighted his progressive message with notes of hope and urgency.
“I think what they have to understand is that more than ever it is imperative for the American people to be involved in the political process,” Sanders said. “Many of the positions that Trump advocated during the campaign are positions not shared by the majority of American people… So our job is to mobilise our people and make sure that Trump listens on issue after issue to what the American people want.”
The notion that now is the time to step up and become more active and more involved has become a steady rallying cry from Sanders since Republican candidate Donald Trump became the president-elect on November 8. Sanders has arguably become even more strident in delivering this message during his book tour.
While some liberals and progressives have focused on the doom-and-gloom aspects of what they fear the Trump presidency may entail, Sanders has focused more on inspiring action and mobilizing the grassroots progressive revolution he often referred to during his presidential campaign.
In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night, Sanders talked about all the potential for progressive change he saw as he traveled across the United States while on the campaign trail.
“I spoke all over this country. I was in 46 states in this country. And I have to tell you, Stephen, what I saw was just incredible,” Sanders told Colbert. “I saw so many beautiful people – and this is not just rhetoric, this is from my heart – especially young people, black and white and Latino and Asian-American and Native American. Incredibly beautiful people who want to make this country into the country that we know it can become.”
— Tim Canova (@Tim_Canova) November 19, 2016
There is evidence that Sanders’ message is, once again, getting through to masses of people.
“We got to keep active. Keep protesting, keep involved in our local communities,” Fritz told The Guardian. “We got to build from the bottom up so we have local candidates, state candidates.”
According to Gabbatt, while anti-Trump protests have been getting a lot of attention, progressive groups across the country have simultaneously been organizing to combat any right-wing policies the Trump administration may pursue.
“It’s our role to make sure we do what we can to protect the Americans who are most at risk under a Trump presidency: women, minority groups, the elderly, students and working people,” Winnie Wong, the co-founder of the People for Bernie organization, told Gabbatt. “This is very important. The GOP are coming for our entitlements. This is not a game.”
If the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders proved anything, it’s that the Vermont senator can inspire and motivate people. We’ll see if his book tour for Our Revolution can actually help to start the grassroots political revolution he and his supporters have been talking about.
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]