Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 20,000 supporters on 3 October at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Sanders, an independent senator for Vermont, discussed progressive reforms for a host of issues, including, but not limited to, healthcare, criminal justice, political donations and student debt.

Bernie Sanders Boston
Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders eagerly await his arrival for a rally held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts on 3 October  Nicole Rojas/IBTimes UK

Sanders was introduced by four locals: National Nurses United co-president Karen Higgins; Boston Carmen's Union president Jimmy O'Brien; UMass-Boston nursing student Jillian Brownsford; and environmental writer Bill McKibben. The 74-year-old was met with raucous applause as he began an energetic 75-minute speech.

"Welcome to the political revolution," Sanders said to the crowd comprised mostly of young university students. While touching on a number of issues, Sanders made several pointed attacks towards Republican candidates, particularly GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

"We will not tolerate an entire group of people being called 'rapists' and 'criminals'," Sanders said. He also took a shot on the GOP's alleged focus on "family values," which he said was just a justification to deny women the ability to control their own bodies and to "deny our gay brothers and sisters the chance to marry".

Bernie Sanders Boston
With a crowd of approximately 20,000 people, Sanders\'s Boston rally was the third-largest the candidate held this year. Nicole Rojas/IBTimes UK

The liberal socialist spent a significant amount of time during his speech to discuss several economic issues, from political donations, student debt and unemployment. Citing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders took aim at Wall Street and Congress for creating what he called a "rigged economy".

The crowd of supporters wildly cheered as Sanders vowed to not nominate any Supreme Court judge unless that nominee is ready to immediately vote to strike down Citizens United. The 2010 decision prohibits the government from restricting non-profits – so-called "super PACs" – on independent political expenditures.

Sanders also called for more employment opportunities for young people and an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 (£9.88). He noted that more funds should head towards education and jobs than jail and incarcerations.

Bernie Sanders Boston
A Bernie Sanders supporter holds up a sign during a rally in Boston, Massachusetts Nicole Rojas/IBTimes UK
Bernie Sanders Boston
After more than two hours, Senator Bernie Sanders thanks and waves goodbye to his supporters in Boston  Nicole Rojas/IBTimes UK