‘Anti-inaugural rally’ calls for vigilance on key political issues

Milford residents hold signs and sing during an Inauguration Day rally in front of Milford City Hall.

Milford residents hold signs and sing during an Inauguration Day rally in front of Milford City Hall.

As President Donald Trump was being sworn in during inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C. Friday, a group of primarily Democrats rallied on the steps of Milford City Hall for what one member called an “anti-inaugural rally.”

Speakers with the group Milford Speaks Out argued for causes and ideals that they believe will be compromised under a Trump administration, from environmental issues to women’s rights to affordable health care. About 100 people gathered around to listen, many holding signs, singing and cheering, even as the occasional heckler yelled “Donald Trump!” or “Go home!” to the crowd.

Speakers included some of Milford’s stand-out environmentalists, like Jeanne Cervin, a former member of the Planning and Zoning Board, and Barbara Milton, former director of the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center.

Alderman Frank Smith told the crowd that he had hoped Jan. 20 would be a day he would celebrate the first woman president of the United States.

“Because of what we have heard and the trepidation we go into this new administration with, it is important that we all gather together,” Smith said.

“Donald Trump is our duly elected, constitutionally elected president, but he did not win the popular vote,” Smith continued. “I know that doesn’t matter in terms of the institution, but it is not an insignificant point. When you hear people say it is the public’s will, it is not. More people went in and voted for Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8 than voted for Donald Trump.”

The message on the steps of City Hall was that people need to fight for issues that are important to them. Milton said people can make a difference themselves in terms of the environment, by recycling, using less water and paying attention to energy and environmental laws. Elizabeth Wright said people need to continue to support public education.

“We are not here in protest, but in solidarity,” Cervin told the crowd. “We will speak out, and stand up.”

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