As the Women's March with its powerful message and agenda "Women's Rights are Human Rights" fills Washington DC, Hartford and state capitols across the country, it is clear that many are determined to make their voices heard and defend democracy under a Trump administration.
Events during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend set the pace, from marches to community gatherings and rallies.
Unions and health care advocates turned out 1,000 strong at the Connecticut State Capitol for one of many national MLK weekend rallies called by Sen Bernie Sanders and Democratic members of Congress for "Our First Stand - Save Health Care." US Senators Chris Murphy & Richard Blumenthal, and US Reps Joe Courtney, Elizabeth Esty, and Rosa DeLauro spoke out to protect affordable healthcare and stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy came to the MLK rally and dinner held by New Haven Rising to update on victories for good jobs and union rights in New Haven including new contracts won by the workers at Yale.
Both Senators emphasized the urgency of engaging thousands of people to uphold their rights and preserve democracy in our country, saying that they need this help and support.
"We are not going to bury the Statue of Liberty and immigrant rights. We are not going to bury the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts," Blumenthal told the crowd of over 500 union and community leaders. "Keep organizing. The strength and courage you embody cannot be defeated. New Haven is rising. America is rising."
Calling this a moment of testing for democracy, Murphy asked, "are we willing to put in the work to preserve the journey for justice and equality?" He told those assembled at St. Michael's Church, "Your legacy is in the best traditions of Dr. Martin Luther King."
The day after the Women's March, rallies for environmental justice were held across Connecticut and the nation. Within the first 100 hours of the inauguration vigils for our environment, for good jobs in a clean energy economy, and for protection for vulnerable communities are being held to "stand together, be watchful, for protection for everything and everyone we love. Vigils were called for Salisabury, Fairfield, New Haven and Bloomfield.