Tag Archives: Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Senator Blumenthal In Westport: Separating Families Is Profoundly Depressing — And Un-American

Yesterday, Richard Blumenthal was in Texas. He toured a border processing center, and a detention center packed with 250 boys.

Today, Connecticut’s senior senator was in Westport. Standing on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, lined with the flags of dozens of nations, he pointed to America’s stars and stripes flying directly overhead.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal on the Post Road bridge this afternoon. He pointed to the American flag — flying with many others — and said its values are more important than ever.

This country’s values are very important, he said told a crowd of about 100. They gathered to protest President Trump’s immigration policies.

But those values are under attack, Blumenthal continued. And, he warned, darker days may lie ahead.

Before he spoke, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (far left) stood with the crowd on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. They listened as protest organizer Darcy Hicks described the important of speaking up against President Trump’s immigration policies.

The senator spoke of his own father — an immigrant fleeing Nazi Germany. The current president, he said, would have turned that 17-year-old away.

Blumenthal thanked Westporters for caring, and for speaking out and standing up. Those values, he said, are more important than ever.

One of the signs seen at today’s protest.

This message counters the one worn on a jacket his past week, by First Lady Melania Trump. It read: “I really don’t care, do u?” (All photos/Dan Woog)

Democracy On Display In Westport

They came from all over Westport, and Redding and Roxbury. There were, by some estimates, 800 of them. But crowd estimates, as we all know now, are less important than the message the crowd sends.

They were Democrats, Republicans and independents. They were moms, dads, tweens and teens, and folks who marched in the ’60s and are now beyond that age.

The English translation of this Russian sign is: “Treason leads to impeachment.”

All 3 selectmen were there, with town officials, state legislators, and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Julia Belaga. The first President Bush appointed her regional director of the EPA, an agency that President Trump wants to scrap.

Past and present town officials — Republicans and Democrats — at the march included (from left) Steve and Rosemary Halstead, 2nd selectman Avi Kaner, 1st selectman Jim Marpe, State Representative Gail Lavielle and 3rd selectman Helen Garten.

They were there for the environment, women’s rights, immigration and education. They were there against authoritarianism, murky Russian ties and the countless whack-a-mole controversies that have sprung up ever since January 20.

Westporter Susan Terry led the crowd in a rousing, singalong “Star Spangled Banner.” Car horns honked in solidarity. (One car passed by with a counter-protest. “Make America great again!” the driver shouted.)

Suzanne Sherman Propp wore her favorite hat.

The music included upbeat songs like the Beatles’ “Here Comes the  Sun,” and protest anthems like Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

And when today’s “Connecticut: One Small State, One Big Voice” march from Jesup Green to Veterans Green was over — after Senators Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal, Congressman Jim Himes and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe had spoken — there was one last song.

“These boots are made for walkin’,” Nancy Sinatra sang. “And one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”

Are you ready?

March organizers (from left) Darcy Hicks, Lauren Soloff and Lisa Bowman show off the message of the day.

Today’s march attracted demonstrators of all ages…

… including this future voter. (Photo/Cathy Siroka)

Congressman Jim Himes gets ready to speak.

Congressman Jim Himes said that President Trump has catered to “the worst elements of extremists.” But he hasn’t succeeded, because “all over America — in unlikely states like Oklahoma and Alabama — people came together. Reasonable Republicans heard from people like you.

“People have used fear to move decent Americans behind bad instincts,” Himes added. “But this is America. We don’t do fear well. Whatever your party, stand up.

“To all the Democrats and Republicans here: You are the best of America. Thanks to you, our shared values will prevail.”

The crowd responded with a heartfelt chant: “Thank you Jim!”

Senator Dick Blumenthal (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Senator Dick Blumenthal told the crowd at Veterans Green: “This is what democracy looks like!” It’s because of crowds like this, he said, that Trump’s “cartoonishly incompetent” healthcare plan went down to defeat.

The Judiciary Committee member pledged to push an independent investigation of the president.

He noted that his father fled Germany for the US in 1935. He was 17, and spoke no English. “This country gave him a chance to succeed. He would be so ashamed now, to see the Statue of Liberty’s lamp extinguished.”

Senator Chris Murphy (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Senator Chris Murphy energized the crowd, saying: “There is no fear that can’t be cured by political activism.” And though he sometimes goes to bed fearing the movement will lose strength, he wakes up in the morning to find it bigger than ever.

He said that he, Blumenthal and Himes “are trying to raise our game to equal this moment. Democracy is inefficient, but no one has invented a better system yet.” However, he noted, “democracy is not inevitable. We have to keep fighting for it.”

Senator Murphy on Veterans Green. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

The March: Boldface Names

I’ve been inundated with photos of Westporters, former Westporters and Westonites at yesterday’s marches, around the world.

I posted plenty yesterday. They showed the diversity, passion and commitment of the women (and men) who came together in places large and small.

I did not plan to post any others. Yet in the spirit of the “06880” tagline (“Where Westport meets the world”), I’m adding 3 more. They show Westport meeting — well, not the world, but some of the leading politicians in the country.

blumenthal-with-melissa-kane-and-nicole-klein

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal poses with a Westport sign. The crowd includes Westport Democratic Town Committee chair Melissa Kane, and Nicole Klein.

Staples High School 2014 grad Daniel Kaseff was right there, as former Secretary of State John Kerry marched past.

Staples High School 2014 grad Daniel Kaseff was right there, as former Secretary of State John Kerry (and his dog) marched past.

A group including Staples grads Nancy Kail and Diane Nicklesberg met up with New York Senator Chuck Schumer in Washington, DC.

A group including Staples grads Nancy Kail and Diane Nicklesberg met New York Senator Chuck Schumer in Washington, DC.

Thanks to all who submitted photos. Your energy and enthusiasm came through strongly. It sounds like a wonderfully empowering day.

Alternative comments are of course welcome.

Alternative facts are not.