Dozens of people from the stateline area turned up at District Bar and Grill in downtown Rockford on Saturday afternoon for “Berniepalooza” – a special event scheduled to help bring Bernie Sanders supporters together.
The event featured local musicians and comedians, with all the performers in support of Bernie Sanders. Organizers provided a shuttle to transport attendees to early voting polling places.
Art Bardsley is a delegate for Sanders, and says he supports Bernie because his campaign is funded by people, and not corporations.
“His money comes directly from the people,” said Bardsley. “He’s got over five million donations averaging, I believe, 27 dollars each.”
Other supporters in attendance echoed the same thought.
“He doesn’t care what any of the one percent has to say,” said supporter Cassandra Macvenn. “He’s fighting against the big companies, and we need that.”
Berniepalooza was held just one day after a Chicago rally for Donald Trump was shut down by protesters; Trump is now blaming Sanders’ supporters for the disruption.
Representative John Cabello (R-IL 68TH) – who attended the rally in support of Trump – says he was disappointed in the way things were handled.
“It’s just unfortunate. We should respect everybody’s views. We should be respectful when they say them or when they talk about them,” said Cabello.
Meanwhile, Sanders supporters say they had a right to be there, and it’s Trump who is the problem.
“In the first amendment, it talks about freedom of assembly and right to protest,” said supporter Luke McGowan-Arnold. “So Donald Trump, yes, he can get up there and say whatever racist stuff he wants to say, but also we have the right to protest it and call him an idiot. That’s in the constitution.”
“Trump can’t blame anything on himself. He always has to put the blame somewhere else,” said Macvenn. “He can’t ever realize that he is the problem with America. He’s just a huge joke and he’s threatened by Bernie. I think he’s feeling ‘the Bern’ so that’s why he has to blame everyone that supports Bernie.”