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Sanders: Real change 'takes place from the bottom on up'

Sanders: Real change 'takes place from the bottom on up'
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (I-Vt.) said at a campaign rally in Chicago late Sunday that real change "takes place from the bottom on up" as he called for a number of reforms.

"Whether it is the struggle against racism, or sexism, or homophobia, or corporate greed, or environmental devastation, or war and militarism or religious bigotry — real change never takes place from the top on down," he said.

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"It always takes place from the bottom on up when people, at the grass-roots level, stand up and fight back," he added. 

The Vermont senator's visit to Chicago was his second campaign rally since he announced his bid for the presidency last month. 

Sanders focused on issues of race and racism, saying that "we still have a very long way to go to end the institutional racism which permeates almost every aspect of our society."

Sanders noted the racial wealth gap, police brutality against black people and incarceration rates of black people.

"Whether it is a broken criminal justice system, or massive disparities in the availability of financial services, or health disparities, or environmental disparities, or educational disparities — our job is, and we will, to create a nation in which all people are treated equally. That is what we must do, and that is what we will do," he added.

Sanders also criticized President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE during the speech, calling him "the most dangerous president in modern American history." But Sanders added that his campaign is "not just about defeating Donald Trump."

"This struggle is about taking on the incredibly powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of this country," he said before pointing to Wall Street, insurance companies, drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and the military-industrial complex, among others.

"There is too much concentration of wealth and power in this country, and this is a fight we're not going to run away from," he added. "We believe in democracy, not oligarchy."