On Sunday Nov 13th, approximately 200 people gathered at First Church in town to be witness to each other’s truth and emotions. It was a powerful, moving space where we trusted each other with some of our deepest vulnerabilities, painful experiences, fears and tentative hopes for the future. People from East Haddam shared about telling Muslim children not to say they were Muslim in school due to fears for their safety, gay couples discussed making irrevocable trusts or quickly and quietly getting married instead of waiting for the celebrations they’ve planned for the future, survivors of sexual violence shared how painful it was to hear the president-elect’s bragging about sexual assault, a black woman shared overhearing students in her daughter’s kindergartner class talking about how “the Blacks and Hispanics are going to have to leave because of Trump’s victory,” gay youth talked about receiving death threats in middle school, others shared worries about the environment, about indigenous rights, of being married or having children married to immigrants who will have to renew their status within the next four years. Dozens and dozens of people shared over 3 hours. The personal is political.
Fox 61 was able to capture a small portion of the event but no media/third person could capture the real essence of what was shared in the room.
Simultaneously, one town over, there was a March from Chester Center to Deep River Town Hall that was attended by over 300 people. That means that 500 people from the Lower Connecticut River Valley came out on Sunday because they are motivated to action.
The onus is not on marginalized people to help other people see their humanity. While it is powerful and healing for some to be in spaces of mutual sharing, we don’t need people to share some of their deepest hurts and worries to motivate us into action. IGNORANCE IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE (we have the internet). The fear that exists after this election is real and justified- whywereafraid.com and it’s our responsibility to start taking action now. The first step- strive to diversify your news sources (start with Shaun King whose words were on the billboard, try Democracy Now!, join a Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) group, subscribe to Jacobin Magazine, Fight for $15, Center for Reproductive Rights, For Harriet, LULAC, YES! Magazine, Mother Jones, Civil Liberties Defense Center, Media Matters for America, Indigenous Rising Media and the cool thing about Facebook is that it will offer you more suggestions once you like one page- if anyone else has awesome news sources they’d like to share please post in the comments).
This is only the beginning. We will organize. We will boycott. We will educate. We will march. We will write. We will take action.