(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of hardcore Bernie Sanders supporters braved the snow in Brooklyn Saturday to hear the presidential hopeful kick off his 2020 campaign.
The Vermont senator headed to Brooklyn College to host a rally, which was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. ET., during a winter snowstorm in his native New York.
Armored with snow boots and hats while clutching coffee and signs like “Hindsight is 2020,” Sanders stalwarts lined the surrounding blocks hours ahead of the event, while a reggae band played live.
“He’s fighting against the billionaire class. I think we need a revolution of working people to take power back from the financial oligarchy that is really running this country right now,” supporter Alan Akrivos told ABC News before the rally, adding that he liked that Sanders’ campaign did not take money from corporations or big oil companies.
As he did in the 2016 campaign, Sanders says he will run a grassroots campaign. His supporters donated $6 million in donations within 24 hours of his 2020 campaign announcement.
“It’ll be stronger, it will be involving more people, it will be more diverse,” Sanders said on ABC’s “The View” on Friday.
He added that he does not need advice from his 2016 primary opponent Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary and I have fundamental differences,” Sanders said.
Sanders’ comments come just before Sanders is expected to attend the Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast in Selama, Alabama, alongside the former secretary of state, who will be honored at the Sunday breakfast. The event will commemorate the “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march, in which activists were beaten and tear-gassed by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Sen. Sherrod Brown and former U.S. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, both of whom have also announced their bids for the 2020 Democratic party’s nomination, are scheduled to attend.
Sanders’ 2020 campaign has not launched without baggage. He’s still a flashpoint for liberals who blame his far-left platform for taking voters away from Clinton.
He also had to address accusations from women who worked on his 2016 campaign and say they were sexually harassed or mistreated, and issued an apology in January before announcing his presidential campaign in mid-February.
“The allegations that I have heard, that you have heard, speak to unacceptable behavior that must not be tolerated in any campaign, or in any workplace in our country. To the women in our campaign who were harassed or mistreated, I apologize,” Sanders said during a news conference on Capitol Hill, “Our standards, our procedures, out safeguards were clearly inadequate.”
On “The View” Sanders also attacked President Donald Trump — whom he called “most dangerous president in modern American history” — for not acting on climate change. The president has often mocked advocates of what he considers “global warming” when the weather is unseasonably cold.
In late January, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed Sanders third behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
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