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Thousands Of Connecticut Residents Attend Post-Inaugural Women's Marches

Jan 22, 2017

As women around the world mobilized to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, Connecticut residents marched in Washington, D.C. and in Hartford by the thousands.

Organizers said Connecticut sent 90 buses to the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., which attracted hundreds of thousands of participants from across the country and gridlocked the city’s streets.

People at both marches voiced their support for a range of issues and causes -- including Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, immigration, and women's rights. Many women wore pink knitted “pussy hats” to protest Trump’s past comments on women.

In Hartford’s Bushnell Park, thousands gathered around the steps of the Capitol Saturday afternoon to sing, chant, share stories, and listen to speeches.

Mae Beth Morales from Watertown held a sign saying "A wise man can play the part of a clown, but a clown can't play the part of a wise man."

"These are not my words," Morales said. "They are the words of Malcolm X. He apparently had a lot of insight into our future! Mr. Donald Trump is someone that showed us who he really is, and it wasn't pretty. And this country still made him president. It baffles my mind."

Onlookers sit on a train bridge as demonstrators march on the streets of Washington, D.C. below.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR
Demonstrators at the Women's March in Washington, D.C.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR

"I think it's wonderful," said Joe Finkel from West Hartford of the turnout Saturday. "This is populism. I think we need to be careful about only branding certain ends of the political spectrum as populism. Populism is the people."

The effort to bus hundreds of Connecticut residents to D.C., like the planning of the Women’s March was launched on social media.

Trinity College professor Sarah Raskin helped lead that effort. While the bus she took was packed with her friends and colleagues, she looked forward to meeting other people from around the country.

“Connecticut feels like a very safe blue bubble, where we don’t have to feel like our rights are under attack,” Raskin said. “But it’s actually not true because federal funding and federal laws can actually infringe upon our rights, even in Connecticut.”

UConn sociology professor Manisha Desai also bussed down to D.C. from Hartford. She said couldn’t count the number of protests she's been to over the past 40 years. This protest, to her, mirrored some of the issues within feminism in the United States that she’s studied.

“There have been a lot of controversies about it being white, middle class women,” Desai said. “Women of color felt excluded, and then there’s been an effort to include them.”

A demonstrator walks by the Capitol Reflecting Pool.
Credit Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Lucy LaRocca, the vicar of Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford, was at the march in Hartford.

"In our baptismal covenant we promise to respect the dignity of every human being," LaRocca said. "And that's why I'm here today. I'm hoping that the new administration will care for all people and for our planet.”

Yaosca Gonzalez is from Nicaragua, and she lives now in Bolton. She held a sign saying "Immigrants Built This Country."

"The majority of the people did not get to elect a president," she said. "I think that we ended up with a really bad choice. This is America, a country built by immigrants. This is who we are, and he's trying to make it look like something different that we're not."

Joe Coolon from Middletown said he to the Hartford march came because, "I don't think Trump stands for the same things that the general population stands for."

"The last eight years I think have been a really big move forward,” Coolon said. “I foresee over the next four years a really big move backwards, and that's troubling."

Indra Rios said she came for the sake of her four-year-old son. "I want him to see what civic duty is," she said. "I'm so encouraged to see that the numbers are really, really high. I'm really jazzed!"

The Women’s March organizers said 673 “sister marches” were planned across the globe.