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Warren addressed a full theater after addressing another large group in the overflow area outside.
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Warren addressed the overflow crowd first.
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U.S. Rep. Richard Neal introduced Warren to both crowds.
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Indpendent Shiva Ayyadurai antagonized Warren and her supporters and that ultimately led to a small scuffle in the street.

Sen. Warren's Town Hall Attracts More Than A Thousand In Great Barrington

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren promised to "keep fighting."
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. - U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is one of the most polarizing senators in the country. 
 
Democrats love her and that was shown on Sunday when more than 1,000 people stood in line, some hours ahead of time, to hear her speak at the Mahaiwe Performance Arts Center.
 
Republicans hate her and that was shown by the counter-protest being held just outside those doors.
 
But Warren seems to operate comfortably in that position as for more than an hour, in a speech and question and answers from the audience, she focused on what she sees as the fundamental differences between the two political parties, called for Democrats to take back control on all levels of government, and promised to continue to "fight."
 
"I am not giving up, not tomorrow, not next month," Warren said. "I am not giving up because I am in this fight out of gratitude. I am deeply grateful to an America that invested in a kid like me and I am deeply determined that the way I will repay that gratitude is that I will do everything I can to make this America work again."
 
The Massachusetts Democrat took particular aim at the Republican-led tax bill. She said that gave some $1.5 trillion dollars to billionaires and corporations, and that has limited the country's ability to invest in education, health care, and infrastructure.
 
"The Republicans managed in the space of a few weeks to write and pass a tax bill that completely overhauls much of our economy and that says as clearly as possible how they believe we build a future going forward. Let me go to the central feature of that tax bill, that tax bill gives away more than $1.5 trillion to billionaires and giant corporations. That's how they think we build a future in America - you help the rich and the powerful get richer and more powerful and somehow that is America's future," Warren said. 
 
Recently she has been pushing what called the Care Act. The bill would allocate some $100 billion over the next decade to combat opioid abuse by bolstering treatment and medical programs. She said right now someone struggling with addiction has a 1 in 10 chance to get the medical support he or she needs. 
 
"We do know about the treatments we need. It is because we won't spend the money to be able to provide the care, the treatment centers, the long-term support. So 20-year-olds, 30-year-olds, 40 years olds have died, leaving children behind, leaving parents whose hearts are broken because America wants their money," Warren said.
 
She consulted with experts in crafting the bill.
 
"It would take $10 billion a year for 10 years to turn this around. That's $100 billion. That's a lot of money. But, it would be enough if we pushed it right down to the communities that are affected, we pushed this money down to the treatment facilities. We'd turn this around, knock this problem in the head and save a lot of people in this country," Warren said. 
 
"So we wrote this up and I took it to my Republican colleagues and I said 'you come from a state where there is a serious problem with addiction. This is a terrible problem.' I explained this whole thing, we call it the Care Act. Will you join me on this? Do you know what the answer was every single time? Great idea, we can't afford it. We can't afford it because they just gave away $1.5 trillion to multi-national corporations and billionaires."
 
That was a repeated theme for Warren as she cycled through a number of issues facing the country. She said many of the issues could be fixed if "everybody paid their fair share" and the money was invested wisely. 
 
Health insurance faces another challenge. She said Republicans are pushing to cut Medicare, aren't curbing private health insurance increases, and are fighting to allow insurance companies to "discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions."
 
Warren would rather see money invested in those programs, but, again she said the country can't afford it because of the tax bill.
 
She continued onto infrastructure. 
 
"We are not even at the replacement rate of what is crumbling and breaking down around us, much less building a future for our small businesses, our big businesses, building the kind of transportation infrastructure that gets people to the Berkshires, building the kind of communications infrastructure so everybody has access to 21st Century communications. That's where we need to spend money," Warren said.
 
She said she brought the discussion to the Republicans and received the same response, "great idea but we can't afford it." The same story goes for student debt, which Warren said is growing exponentially each year. She wants to expand the loan forgiveness programs but again, she said it was rejected.
 
"Budgets are the manifest statement of our values. They tell us what we care about," Warren said.

The line into the theater went a long way down Main Street.

Warren dovetailed into the familiar story she tells of growing up. She wanted to be a school teacher. He father was a janitor and her mother worked minimum wage at Sears. When college came, her parents were unable to afford it.

Her hopes were lost until she eventually found a commuter college at an affordable rate. She then got the degrees she needed and worked her way to the U.S. Senate.

Warren says that kind of America is being threatened right now by the Republican control.
 
"America's back is to the wall. The kind of country that we believe in, the kind of country we want to be is at risk now. It has all been put at risk. That means each and every one of us is called on. This is our moment in history and those who turn away, those who say I am just discouraged, those who say I've given up, those who throw their hands in the air, those who say no one has been perfect, no. We can't afford that in America anymore," Warren said. 
 
That sentiment is something state Sen. Adam Hinds reflected on. In introducing the program, Hinds said there are relentless attacks on democracy and Warren is one fighting on behalf of the Democrats to reverse those trends.
 
"It is at these moments you want to have a fighter in your corner," Hinds, who later returned to the stage to moderate the question and answer session, said. 
 
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal introduced the senator and praised her as someone who goes to Washington "armed with facts every single day."
 
The mid-term elections are quickly approaching and Warren is hoping Democrats are motivated to vote and switch the power in Congress. She has her own race as she is being challenged by Republicans Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstom, and  John Kingston as well as independent Shiva Ayyadurai - who campaigned outside of the event.
 
Warren has been linked numerous times to a possible presidential run in 2020 and many in the theater shouted to her to run. But, she avoided the topic mostly. While she wants more Democrats up and down the levels of government, those in Great Barrington want her at the top.
 
While the Care Act and infrastructure bills have been Warren's most recent push, she is also working on a bill to fight against "corruption in the government," has a bill calling on the federal government to defer to state laws regarding marijuana, and, through her role on the Armed Services Committee, crafting a bill to allow National Guard members to receive their full recognition of a promotion immediately instead of a governmental delay.
 
She also touched on immigration, calling for Congress to negotiate a new deal that works for everyone, and the environment, calling for strong protections.
 
The town hall meeting was one of many Warren will be holding across her home state and her 30th overall. As early as noon, if not earlier, people from all over the region were lining up at the door. The theater was quickly filled for the 2:30 event and the rest gathered around a gazebo across the street. Prior to entering the theater for the speaking portion, Warren gave a brief address and fielded a couple questions from the overflow audience there.
 
Warren said the turnout is motivating for her.
 
"I am reminded when I am here in the Berkshires about how every policy in Washington directly affects every person here," Warren said.

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