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The founders and namesakes of ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s came to Cambridge to rally undergraduate supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in anticipation of the Massachusetts primary election next week.
The event, held in a back room of Central Square’s Middle East restaurant and nightclub, began with around 100 students and young voters chanting the signature phrase of Sanders’ campaign, “Feel the Bern,” as the two founders took the stage to talk about their support for the Vermont senator.
Students from Harvard Students for Bernie were among those present.
“Ben and I are all in for Bernie,” said Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of the Vermont-based ice cream company. “Everywhere we go, people are so psyched to support Bernie.”
The crowd went wild as fellow co-founder Bennett “Ben” Cohen waved a lit-up purple LED campaign sign behind Greenfield.
“Bernie is the first presidential candidate that Ben and I have ever actively worked for,” Greenfield said. “He is incredible. He is a candidate that comes once in a generation.”
Cohen and Greenfield, who have both been constituents of Sanders for more than 30 years, praised the senator for his commitment to values that resonated with them.
“He has been tireless and unwavering in his work for students, for everyday working Americans, for veterans, for seniors. He has never let us down because Bernie Sanders is not for sale,” Greenfield said.
Cohen described Sanders’s platform advocating for universal health care and raising the minimum wage.
“For Bernie, the words fairness, justice, and equality are not just empty words,” Cohen said.
This event just after members of Harvard Students for Bernie continued to canvass this weekend near Harvard Square. Over the past few weeks, the group has made thousands of calls to several early primary states, according to Justin G. Curtis ’19, vice president of Harvard Students for Bernie.
“Ben and Jerry are pretty famous within the Bernie campaign. We’re just trying to mobilize support on Harvard’s campus. Events like these are perfect; we got 10 to 15 people to show up,” Curtis said.
Recent polls show former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton with a small lead over Sanders the week before the Massachusetts primary, which will take place alongside primaries and caucuses in 12 other states on March 1, known as “Super Tuesday.” Of Harvard faculty members who contributed to campaigns in 2015, the vast majority donated to Clinton.
Students said they were confident, though, about Sanders’ ability to perform in the Bay State and other states next week.
“We’re feeling pretty good going into Massachusetts. It looks like we’re going to take some victories over the next few weeks,” Archie I. H. Stonehill ’17, a member of Harvard Students for Bernie, said.
The rally concluded with distribution of the free ice cream donated by Cohen and Greenfield for the event.
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