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Sanders holds late-night rally in Loop ahead of Tuesday's Illinois primary

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders staged a late-night rally in the Loop Monday, making a final pitch to voters ahead of Tuesday’s Illinois primary and declaring Chicago and Illinois "ready for a political revolution."

A hoarse Sanders took the stage at the Auditorium Theatre shortly before 11 p.m., where several thousand supporters had been waiting hours to hear  him deliver a stump speech focused on his pledge to fix the “rigged economy” that he contends has served corporations and the wealthy over ordinary people.

"Corporate America will shut down a plant in Chicago and move to China if they can make $5 more in profit," Sanders said. "The only way we bring about the changes that we need is when millions of people stand up and say enough is enough."

Sanders asked supporters to turn out for him at the polls, and get others to do so as well.

"We win when voter turnout is high, we lose when voter turnout is low," Sanders said. 'Let’s make sure that tomorrow, we have a high voter turnout."

Sanders also made reference to the reported shooting of three Chicago police officers earlier in the evening, saying that the country needs to "end this outrageous level of violence."

The Vermont senator, who is trailing in the delegate count against rival Hillary Clinton, took some swipes at his opponent, saying the two have a “profound difference of view” on campaign finance, trade and foreign policy. He questioned Clinton’s refusal to make public the paid speeches she has delivered to financial institutions, questioning whether the speeches were worth her high-dollar fees and that if so, “she may want to share (the speech) with the rest of us.”

Both Sanders and Clinton have campaigned heavily in Illinois, and a loss here would be an embarrassment for Clinton, who was born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge. The stakes are high for Sanders, too, as he is trying to prove viability with minority voters.

As part of that effort, Sanders has railed against Mayor Rahm Emanuel in recent days, seizing on frustration over Emanuel’s handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting scandal and perceptions that the mayor is out-of-touch with average people. Meanwhile, he’s aired television ads featuring longtime Emanuel critic Troy LaRaviere, who heads a Lakeview elementary school, and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who forced Emanuel into a runoff election last year.

While not mentioning Emanuel by name at the Monday rally, Sanders again tried to tap into frustration with the mayor by referencing the 2013 closing of 50 Chicago Public Schools.

"I come to Chicago and I hear about 50 schools in black and Latino communities being shut down, and I hear about millions of dollars going back to Wall Street, who helped create this problem," Sanders said. "It is not acceptable that schools in Chicago get shut down while we give tax breaks to billionaires."

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