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Tells Modesto rally hell win this Tuedsay
SANDERS--Modesto Pic 1top
Vermont Senator and Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stands at the lectern to address a capacity crowd of 2,300 people at Modesto Centre Plaza Thursday morning. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

MODESTO — Bernie Sanders has to win California if he’s to have any chance of getting the Democratic nomination for the Presidency at the party’s convention in Philadelphia next month.
And on Thursday morning at Modesto Centre Plaza, the outspoken Vermont Senator promised that he was going to do just that.
In the last month Sanders has made 28 appearances at California rallies to drum up grassroots support for his campaign against the well-funded Hillary Clinton – not pulling any punches in the process. It was his second appearance in the 209 after speaking last month in Stockton.
His supporters are taking note.
“He’s somebody that stands up for the people, and I absolutely think he can come out and win here next week and possibly convert a few people in the process,” Mark Rice said. “We don’t get candidates like this coming around here very often, and it’s great that he’s hitting places like this to let people hear his message and decide for themselves who they want as their leader in November.”
Sanders was forced to take a break during his speech when an unruly group of animal rights protestors climbed over the guard rail and were eventually tackled by Secret Service agents and carried out of the rally.
Supporters of the organization they were representing unveiled a massive banner that read “Animal Liberation is Social Justice” – a banner, that after a minute, somebody from the audience pulled out of the hands of the protestors.
The capacity crowd of 2,300 people – which filled the halls inside of the conference and convention center – cheered Sanders exuberantly when he appeared at the lectern to speak, and interrupted him several times during the speech by chanting his name in unison.
Sanders, who is trailing Hillary Clinton in the total number of delegates, is hoping that his push to win California will be successful and that the number of Superdelegates – party representatives that are free to vote for whichever candidate they see fit after the primary at the party’s annual convention, will break their allegiance and come over to his side now that momentum has swung back into his favor.
Modesto hasn’t had a Presidential nominee speak in the community since John McCain visited during his campaign in 2007. According to some, his presence shows that the while the clout of the Bay Area and Los Angeles may bring in more money, the people of the Central Valley have a voice in how things transpire as well.
“Modesto doesn’t get very much recognition, and it’s been almost a decade since we had somebody like him here,” said Turlock’s Abigail Spencer. “So the fact that he’s coming to this community shows that he cares about the State of California residents that live there – we’re not just the outcasts anymore in the eyes of major political candidates.”
In his remarks Sanders hit hard on climate change and how it’s affecting the entire country and what can be done to stop it, and reiterated points about how to solve the issues facing prisons in the United States and how the modern drug policy – where marijuana is classified in the same category as heroin.
He reiterated his stance on the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, and talked about the income inequality gap between men and women and how something needs to be done to tighten that gap so that women are given an equal share for an equal amount of work.
His platform for “free” college education was also mentioned, as was the fact that the $70 billion program would be funded by Wall Street speculation fees that his administration would collect.
Some Sanders supporters came from as far away as the Bay Area to hear him speak, and a number of people spent the night on the Downtown Modesto streets so that they were ensured admission to the relatively small venue. Even as the hall filled up with people there was still a line wrapping out of the building and around the corner. 
The Senator was introduced to the crowd by actress Susan Sarandon, who has been a champion of the liberal lawmaker for his entire campaign. Last week Sanders had two other actresses – Rosario Dawson and Shailene Woodley – stump for him in Stockton and various other locals throughout Northern California.
Thursday’s stop was part of his dedication to speak to as many as 250,000 voters before Californians take to the polls on June 7 to decide what could very well be his fate in this election.
He used the platform to speak out against climate change and even threw a little dig in at his Democratic opponent.
“This is a crisis of unbelievable magnitude,” Sanders said. “Burying our heads in the sand and taking contributions from the fossil fuel industry is not going to solve this problem.
“I urge Secretary Clinton to appreciate the severity of the crisis and join me in telling the fossil fuel industry that yes, there will be a tax on carbon.”
He also commented on Donald Trump’s statements at campaign event in Fresno last week where he said that California wasn’t actually facing a drought, but simply a water management issue that isn’t delivering the water to the right people who need it. He also said that climate change was a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.
“That is so ludicrous that it really would be funny if the future of the planet wasn’t at stake,” he said.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.