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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holdsl hands with Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at a campaign rally at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena on November, 3, 2019 in Minneapolis.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) holdsl hands with Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) at a campaign rally at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena on November, 3, 2019 in Minneapolis. (Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Celebrating Transcendent 'Mass Movement of the Working Class,' Ilhan Omar Backs Sanders at Raucous Minnesota Rally

"Ilhan and I share a common link as the descendants of families who fled violence and poverty and who came to this country as immigrants."

Eoin Higgins

Calling Sen. Bernie Sanders the best hope for a "just world," Rep. Ilhan Omar on Sunday rallied with the Democratic presidential candidate in Minneapolis to a crowd of several thousand at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena.

Omar, introducing Sanders to the crowd of over 10,000, celebrated Sanders' commitment to "a mass movement of the working class that transcends faith, race, gender, and background."

The Minnestoa congresswoman emphasized the Vermont senator's long record of standing for progressive values—even when he was a lonely voice. 

"For a long time Bernie was under-estimated, his ideals weren't taken seriously by the establishment because he refused to fall in line and conform to the pressures in Washington," said Omar.

"In the sea of corruption, Bernie Sanders continuously stood for justice and never bowed down to special interests," she continued. "That's the resolve we need in a president."

In his remarks to the crowd, Sanders talked about the connection between his experience growing up as the child of Jewish refugees and that of the Somalia-born Omar, who emigrated to the U.S. after living in a refugee camp in Kenya. 

"People say Ilhan and I make an odd political couple, but, in fact, there's nothing odd about it," said Sanders. "Ilhan and I share a common link as the descendants of families who fled violence and poverty, and who came to this country as immigrants."

Sanders also addressed rallygoers with the message of inclusion his campaign has been centering in recent weeks. 

"We understand that we are stronger, healthier, and happier as human beings when we reach out to others as human beings," said Sanders, "and we understand that we are all in this together."

The weekend rally was the third in a row for Sanders, who held events in Queens with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on October 19 and in Detroit with Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on October 27. Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tlaib and 3/4 of the so-called "Squad" along with Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), a quartet of freshman progressive lawmakers who have made an impact in their first year in Congress. Pressley has yet to endorse any of the candidates for president.

Omar and Sanders were originally supposed to rally at a smaller venue at the university, but an enthusiastic response prompted organizers to move it to the Williams Arena to accomodate supporters. The turnout prompted Nation reporter John Nichols to opine that Minnesota is in play for Sanders, despite the fact that the state's senior senator, Amy Klobuchar, is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Sanders campaign national co-chair Nina Turner and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison were on hand to amp up the crowd for Omar and Sanders. 

Prince's band, New Power Generation, warmed up the crowd and explained why they support Sanders. 

"We gotta spread the funk evenly," said lead singer MacKenzie. "Everybody gotta get a dose. That's why I like Bernie. He likes justice, he likes equality, so we want everybody to get an equal portion of this funk." 


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