Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hartford Rally for Racial Injustice Raises Important Points

FIONA McELROY ’20

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

On Sunday, October 1, a number of Trinity students, professors, and administrators attended the Rally for Racial Justice, hosted by the organization Moral Monday Connecticut in conjunction with Women’s March Connecticut. Marches and rallies of the same theme took place in a number of cities this past weekend, including Washington D.C. I attended with a small group from the Trinity College Democrats Club.

The rally began at Hartford City Hall, located on Main Street, between the library and the Wadsworth Atheneum. There appeared to be upwards of one hundred people in attendance, people from local organizations and churches as well as individuals and families. Bishop John Selders, a founder of the Moral Monday organization, gave a brief speech on the City Hall steps before the attendees moved into the street to begin the march towards the Trinity campus. Our procession was led down Main Street by people holding a Black Lives Matter and Moral Monday banner, as well as an even larger banner that read, “Millionaires Don’t Represent Us”. Several organizers with megaphones led call-and-response chants about Black Lives Matter and racial justice.

The march then turned down Park Street, where we paused for about ten minutes or so to hear from the group Latinas en la Resistencia, who are raising funds to send aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of the recent hurricane.

The march then continued down Park Street, and back to Main Street to reach Vernon Street and the Trinity campus. After reaching the final destination in the parking lot at the intersection of Vernon and Broad Street, several speakers addressed the crowd. Bishop Selders spoke again, as well as Trinity Professors Sarah Raskin and Johnny Williams. Trinity student Eddie Hayes performed a spoken word poem, and local hip hop artist Tang Sauce performed two songs.

For this march, I carried a sign that I made a year ago in the wake of Donald Trump’s election that quotes George Orwell: “If we do not act, we are acted upon”. I have carried this poster with me at marches and rallies in Hartford, Stamford, New York, and Washington D.C. because to me, the quote encapsulates the goal of every protestor. For this march, we marched chanted and we kneeled for racial justice and for Puerto Rico, and for the last march we did it all for healthcare. Every action has specific goals, but ultimately we are always working together to have our voices heard, to work together and have some role in the government  and systems that dictate all our lives, and so to take control of our world and improve our country and our world for our friends, family, and ourselves.

I certainly felt like we were making positive change when our march on Sunday turned heads of passerby and elicited honks and cheers from passing cars. I will always believe that doing something , anything, to remain involved in the fight for justice is better than sitting idle and accepting whatever injustice is thrown your way, or worse: ignoring injustices done to others.

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