STAMFORD, Conn. — Chants of “Justice and Equity for All” and "Love Trumps Hate” rang out as a crowd of about 3,000 people filled Mill River Park in downtown Stamford on Saturday for the Women's March On Connecticut.
"The City of Stamford is one of the most diverse cities in America. I’m proud to have this march here in solidarity with all the other marches taking place across the globe," Stamford Mayor David Martin said in addressing the crowd.
The Stamford rally was one of hundreds that took place around the country, with the main event in Washington with a half-million participants. The marches were planned in reaction to the election of President Donald Trump and planned for his first full day of office.
Many Stamford participants held banners, signs and posters expressing their anger and disappointment over the outcome and concerns about Trump's policies.
The nation has worked hard and with great suffering to advance the cause of justice, Martin told the crowd. "We the people are now joined in a great national effort to protect our country for all," he said.
"We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health and our communities. Together we will shape and determine the course of America for years to come.
"We in Stamford hear your voice. Hopefully, you Mr. President in Washington can hear our voice as well," he said.
Event organizer Lisa Boyne of Fairfield roused the crowd as she spoke from the stage.
“In my America, we celebrate all races. All lives matter," Boyne said. For her, the rally is just the beginning of all the actions she plans to take to get her voice heard.
“We are going to take back our country,” she said, amid loud cheering and clapping.
One way she plans to do this is by creating "a digital online mobile movement to put all like-minded people together.
“We will take the Tea Party’s playbook and flip it so we can take those Red States back," she said.
State Rep. William Tong (D-147, Stamford/Darien) also took the microphone and rallied the crowd, yelling “Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to fight? "Let’s do it."
Dita Bhargava, vice chairwoman of the Connecticut Democratic Party, said words are a good start, but in a critical time like this it’s important to take action.
“Lace up your shoes and do something. Grab a clipboard, get signatures and run for office," she told the crowd.
She said that it’s important to put the Democrats back in power. “We need every person to aid us in moving our Democratic mission forward," she said.
Lisa Huber, chairman of the National Peace Academy, said while many feel anger and fear, "to make a difference, you need to become a badass disrupter."
"Whatever it is you are passionate about, take it on. Do it for your town, do it for your children, do it with all your heart," she said.
After the speeches concluded, everyone in the crowd bowed their heads for a moment of silence taken in conjunction with all the other sister marches taking place worldwide, including in New York City, Hartford, White Plains, Boston and beyond.
A short march then set out through downtown Stamford around the blocks that circle the Trump Parc building at Broad Street and Washington Boulevard.