BEACON – On the same day women rallied by the thousands in the nation’s capital and their hometowns in protest of the new administration of President Donald Trump, local activists in Beacon held a demonstration of their own.
Saturday afternoon, approximately 100 people, hailing from local organizations like the Sloop Club, Dutchess County NAACP and others, gathered across Beacon City Hall in a show of solidarity.
Connie Hogarth, director of the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Justice at Manhattanville College and organizer of the demonstration, said she felt compelled to hold one locally, as she couldn’t make it to Washington or New York City and because there was a similar demonstration happening in nearby Poughkeepsie.
An estimated 7,000 people rallied on the Walkway Over the Hudson.
Hogarth said she believes there is a large majority of locals who are “keen” on opposing the anticipated agenda of the Trump administration, and the rally was meant to be an all-inclusive protest on a myriad of social issues they believe will be exacerbated by those policies.
“It’s the environment. It’s equality. It’s everything that we consider to be key to protecting our democracy, and our constitution. We’re all here to say all of that, and more,” said Hogarth.
Protestors in Beacon said their grievances ranged from women’s rights, immigrant rights, tolerance and equality for all sexes, races, religions, sexual orientations and gender identities, to proposed cuts to the Clean Water Act, clean energy, the Paris Agreement and national healthcare repeal.
Margaret McDuffy, a New York resident who was in Beacon, said in addition to the civil liberty issues she finds are being set forth by the administration, she believes the president’s cabinet choices will harm the very departments they were selected to represent.
“The cabinet that’s being put together is the antithesis of getting things done and I don’t think they have really any true concern about the American people and the institutions they’re supposed to be taking care of and running,” said McDuffy.
Hogarth agrees and said those who are in opposition need to be ready to act against this administration at a moment’s notice.
“His cabinet is such an egregious bunch of men; each, of which, has been placed in a cabinet post that totally belies the best interest of that cabinet post,” said Hogarth. “We have to defy them. We have to make sure that they don’t do what he wants them to do and we’ll have to be extremely alert, and ready at the drop of a hat, to do phoning, to do demonstrations, to do all the things that counter and indicate the interests of the people,” she said.