Rallies and marches are continuing across the country. Since the inauguration of Donald Trump, people across the country have rallied for women’s issues, health care, gun control, and now protection of immigrants. Despite the intense heat and humidity over most of the country, people turned out in droves. More than 750 demonstrations were held covering each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Three Connecticut towns hosted rallies Saturday – in Middletown, where US Rep. Rosa DeLauro spoke; the Two Wrassling Cats, in the small town of East Haddam, which is turning out to be a hotbed of progressive activity; and Deep River Town Hall.
‘We’re Fighting for the Soul of Our Country’
DeLauro, who traveled to McAllen, Texas, last weekend to visit a detention center, described her experience to an audience of about 250 people. “We’re dealing with a policy that if you do something horrific to people they will stop coming to the United States.”
She continued, “What I saw was worse than I ever could have imagined… it was inhumane and cruel.” She described the processing center where there were cells, a lock up, concrete benches. “It was freezing. There was a sea of tin foil. Yes, there were cages.”
DeLauro’s voice broke when she talked about her 11-year-old Guatemalan grandson, who was not unlike the children in detention. “Those are our kids… we can’t forget that.” She said spoke with 15 mothers at St. Isabella detention center. Only one had spoken to her daughter, who was crying on the phone. “They have no idea where their kids are,” DeLauro said. “These stories must be told nationwide. That’s what this day is about.
“We’re fighting for the soul of our country,” she concluded.
Journalist Susan Campbell was also in Middletown and supplied us with her photos. She wrote on Facebook, “We watched a movement build from the women’s march after the Trump inauguration. Let’s keep moving.”
Dina Fullerton attended the rally in Middletown as well. “It felt great to be in a crowd of like minded people. In this political climate and era of divisiveness, that was very welcome,” she said. “I think my generation of women was the first to grow up with abortion as a right, and we were the first women to actually believe we could be/do anything we wanted. We benefitted from the political protests of the past in terms of civil rights (my peers and friends) and women’s rights. So this feels like the first wave of activism since then that my generation can get behind.”
Fullerton added that a friend said she has a 20-year-old daughter and a gay son. “She is now worried for their future in ways she never really considered before.”
In East Haddam
Two Wrasslin’ Cats in East Haddam hosted 75 to 100 people, including Joan Means, Gini King and other members of CT Shoreline Invisible.
“It was well attended with lots of energy to stand up for immigrants and their children,” Means said.
And again, there were the signs.
200 Rally in Deep River
Barbie Dubois and Sunny Bosco were among those at the Deep River Town Hall, Main Street.
Bosco was the organizer along with Valley Shore Stands Up. “People are outraged by the crimes being perpetrated by the president against immigrant families,” said Bosco. “This isn’t an issue of politics, it’s one of morality. There’s no middle ground when the administration’s policy choice is causing children to suffer, and moral Americans won’t stand by and let this happen.”
Bosco told the crowd, “We are here to tell the white house and the world that we are fed up with Trump’s treatment of immigrant and refugee families, and condemn all acts of racism and nationalism being committed in our names. Families seeking safety in our country need protection, not prosecution. It’s a situation that calls, not for an absence of tolerance, but for an abundance of it, and for community, kindness, and brotherhood.”
“Two hundred people are here fighting for democracy and compassion. It won’t be an easy course correction, but this is a start. Vote in November!” wrote Dubois on Facebook. “129 days until November 6.”
Other Connecticut towns including West Hartford and Litchfield also held rallies. An estimated 30,000 people lined the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City and 30,000 people gathered in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, across from the White House. The American Civil Liberties Union, MoveOn.org, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and The Leadership Conference were among the organizations involved, relying on networks established during the Women’s Marches, but most of the credit goes to local organizers.