HARTFORD—For many the swearing in of Donald Trump as president represents a new start to a more prosperous future, but for others it was the first day of the resistance.
Many Americans, including Connecticut residents, are scared about what a Trump administration means for them and their families. A cross section of many of the groups who feel left out of Trump’s vision for America gathered outside Hartford City Hall Friday night before marching down the street to the federal courthouse. It was one of hundreds of protests Friday in response to the swearing in of the 45th president of the United States.
Outside the federal courthouse, Alok Bhatt of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance, talked about state legislation they are hoping to pass so that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers can’t get local law enforcement to turn over individuals they suspect are undocumented.
On the campaign trail Trump promised to deport any undocumented immigrants. He’s since walked back those comments slightly in an interview with 60 Minutes, however, the immigrant community is nervous about what it means for their future.
There’s also a question about what Trump’s administration means for undocumented students. On the campaign trail Trump said that he would call for an immediate halt on an executive order which instituted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which allows immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to come out of the shadows and pay a fee to receive a temporary work authorization and protection from deportation.
Lucas Codognolla said it wasn’t just undocumented immigrants that Trump targeted on the campaign trail.
“He attacked immigrants, women, LGBTQ community, black people, everyone, Muslims,” Codognolla said.
He said it’s time for these communities to come together and “stand on the right side of history.”
He said Connecticut is going to “stand up, fight back.”
Across town at Real Art Ways, former Democratic state comptroller Bill Curry and WNPR’s Colin McEnroe were throwing a part party, and part jazz funeral for anyone who may be upset about Trump’s inauguration.
Democratic lawmakers and more than 300 progressives showed up to drink, dance, and begin planning the resistance.
After procession of musicians paraded through the crowd at what they were calling the “uninaugural ball,” and played three songs at the center of the crowd. Curry said they threw an “uninaugural ball” 35 years ago when Ronald Reagan was elected “and we thought that was bad.”
Curry told the crowd that it’s been suggested that they are just going through the stages of grief. But he was adamant that they’re not.
“The last stage of grief is acceptance and we’re not going there,” Curry said to applause.
He said it’s like when something really horrible happens and you hope for something magical to make it just go away. He said he believes that could happen and that something magical is a “subpoena.”
But he said he remain optimistic and believes something wonderful is happening.
“Tomorrow is a new dawn,” Curry said.
Reps. Ed Vargas, James Albis, and Josh Elliott attended the ball, along with Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. and his wife, Kiki.