Thousands flooded a Manhattan park to see Elizabeth Warren in her biggest rally to date, and her selfie line after lasted almost 4 hours

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a forceful speech in a campaign stop in New York City on Monday evening.
  • Warren presented a vision of systemic change driven from the inside while also vowing to tackle political corruption if she were elected as the nation's next president.
  • Her address focused on corruption in American politics — and she also spoke about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 garment workers and spurred substantial workplace safety reforms.
  • The campaign estimated over 20,000 people turned out to hear the senator from Massachusetts make her case for the White House, which would make it the biggest rally of her presidential run so far.
  • Insider was on the scene as Warren delivered a defining speech of her candidacy. Here's what we saw.

NEW YORK — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a forceful speech in a campaign stop in New York City on Monday evening, presenting a vision of systemic change driven from the inside while also vowing to tackle political corruption if she were elected as the nation's next president.

The campaign estimated over 20,000 people turned out to hear the senator from Massachusetts make her case for the White House, which would make it the biggest rally of her presidential run so far.

Her address focused on corruption in American politics, and she also spoke about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 garment workers — most of them women — and spurred substantial workplace safety reforms.

Insider was on the scene as Warren delivered a defining speech of her candidacy. Here's what we saw.

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Elizabeth Warren's Manhattan rally
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Elizabeth Warren's Manhattan rally
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before addressing supporters at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses supporters at a rally Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses supporters at a rally at Washington Square Park, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses supporters at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses supporters at a rally at Washington Square Park, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses supporters at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren cheer as she arrives at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before addressing supporters at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage before addressing supporters at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren cheer as she arrives at a rally, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaks to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: US Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rally at Washington Square Park in New York, New York on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Rainmaker Photo/MediaPunch /IPX
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, right, and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey wave to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, reacts after receiving flowers from a supporter during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaks to delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, right, embraces Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey before addressing delegates during the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Springfield, Mass. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Elizabeth Warren rally on 16 September 2019, Washington Square Park, Manhattan, New York, USA (Photo credit should read Joel Sheakoski / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Elizabeth Warren rally on 16 September 2019, Washington Square Park, Manhattan, New York, USA (Photo credit should read Joel Sheakoski / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2019/09/16: Supporters of the Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren gather at the Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2019/09/16: Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally at Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2019/09/16: Supporters of the Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren gather at the Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters cheer for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as she takes the stage for a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to take the stage for a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters stands for the national anthem before 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) takes the stage during a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters listen as 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to take the stage for a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) arrives for a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Supporters wait for Senator Elizabeth Warren to arrive at a political rally on September 16, 2019 in Washington Square Park in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) waves to the crowd at the end of a rally in Washington Square Park on September 16, 2019 in New York City. Warren unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption plan earlier on Monday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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People arrived at Washington Square Park for the Elizabeth Warren rally late Monday afternoon. It started getting crowded around 6pm as the event was about to get underway. A New York City Parks and Recreation spokesperson said they expected around 8,000 to 10,000 people to turn out.

Joseph Zeballos/Insider

There were also less than a handful of Trump supporters holding their own counter-rally. They held signs praising the president and criticizing Warren for a genetic test she took last year proving she had a small but detectable amount of Native American DNA. It remains a conservative line of attack.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Mehdji Belizaire, a 19-year-old Warren volunteer, was busy handing out campaign buttons to rally goers. She says she's "still on the fence" about Warren. But Belizaire is drawn to Warren's plan to cancel student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans, given that she's taken out $60,000 to support her education at Marymount Manhattan College. "I'm a college student and it would be nice to graduate without student debt," Belizaire says.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Ellen Friedman, 76, sported her "I heart Warren" button on her denim jacket. The part-time community counselor and die-hard Warren supporter said "this is the scariest time I can ever imagine." She believes Warren is a "personable candidate" who can address the issues that keep her up at night. "I'm worried about healthcare, I'm worried about education, war, my children and grandchildren," she says.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Andre Mirabelli, 72, was happy to see Warren release a plan to tackle corruption earlier on Monday, saying its one of the main issues he believes is burdening American politics. "Gun control, abortion rights, healthcare — unless you have the right people in the room, nothing else matters," he says.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Data analyst Sean Marrin, left, and law clerk Chris Sheppard came to the Warren rally together. Both supported Warren's "big ideas" and her eagerness to bust up monopolies.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

It briefly started to rain before the rally began, and scores of people pulled out their umbrellas.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

But the rain didn't deter the crowd. Many held light blue "I'm a Warren Democrat" signs as they waited for the rally to start.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Warren campaign surrogates encouraged people to take selfies and upload them to social media as they warmed up the crowd for the Massachusetts senator.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Warren was met with raucous cheers when she took the stage at 7 p.m. local time. She immediately touted her endorsement from the Working Families Party, a major progressive group that previously backed Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016. Warren said if she is elected, "working families will have a champion!"

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Warren also spoke about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which occurred only a few blocks away from the park. “We’re not here today because of famous arches or famous men. In fact, we’re not here because of men at all,” she said. “We’re here because of some hard-working women.” She drew parallels with the substantial workplace reforms enacted after the tragedy, and cited the efforts of advocate Frances Perkins, who later became President Franklin Roosevelt's labor secretary.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Warren characterized the tragedy as "a story about power." She went on: "A story of what happens when the rich and the powerful take control of government and use it to increase their own profits while they stick it to working people. But what happened in the aftermath of the fire is a different story about power — a story about our power, a story about what’s possible when we fight together as one."

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

Warren's supporters were cheering and chanting throughout the evening, highlighting the enthusiasm the ascendant 2020 Democratic candidate is generating on the campaign trail. When she brought up her signature two percent wealth tax on the nation's wealthiest people, the crowd broke into chants of "two cents."

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

The address lasted roughly 50 minutes, but for some the event didn't end then. A volunteer reminded people they could take a selfie with Warren. The huge crowd numbered over 20,000 people, according to the campaign. Insider could not independently verify this number.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

The selfie line was initially a muddled mess. But Warren stayed for over three hours to take pictures with supporters and the last one wrapped up as it neared midnight. Selfies with Warren are a campaign staple that will repeat the next day.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig/Insider

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