“We’re at a time in our nation’s history we’ve never seen before,” said writer and photographer Andrea Barrist Stern. “Under this administration, we can no longer take for granted rights and comforts we’re used to — education, clean water, health care, the right to vote, free access to the Internet, and the most basic respect and compassion for those less fortunate.”
To mobilize people who want to fight back against policies of the Trump government, Stern has organized “Rock the Resistance” at the Bearsville Theater on Sunday, June 11, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Representatives from Hudson Valley groups will speak on such issues as environmental protection, voting rights, affordable health care, women’s reproductive rights, and fair immigration laws, describing what their organizations are doing and how the public can help. Local musicians will perform protest music at several points between the presentations. At the end of the event, the audience will visit action sign-up tables, where organization staffers will register volunteers, answer questions, hand out information, and accept donations.
Featured speakers will be:
• Dustin Reidy, founder of NewYork19Votes and key organizer of Indivisible 19;
• Fran Fox-Pizzonia, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Mid Hudson Valley;
• Paul Gallay, President of Riverkeeper;
• Father Frank J. Alagna (Holy Cross Church) and Rabbi Yael Romer (Temple Emanuel) of the Kingston Area Sanctuary Movement;
• Dr. Fabio O. Danisi, Poughkeepsie neurologist, speaking on healthcare,
• Shannon Wong, Chapter director of the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter NYCLU;
• Patrick Sullivan, political outreach specialist on the use of social media for resistance.
• Noelle Damon, Ulster People for Justice and Democracy on net neutrality;
• Debra Clinton, founder of Move Forward New York 19th Congressional District.
Live music will be provided by Marc Black, Happy Traum, Amy Fradon, and Prana.
Organizations with action sign-up tables include Indivisible 19, Riverkeeper, New York Civil Liberties Union, Ulster People for Justice and Democracy, Move Forward New York 19th Congressional District, Clearwater, Hudson Valley Strong, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline, and the League of Women Voters of the Mid-Hudson Valley.
There will be lawn signs on sale that read, “Hate has no home here,” in English, Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Chinese, and Spanish. Purchase of a $20 lawn sign will help Stern recoup the funds she has spent to organize the event, which will be free.
“So many people are signing petitions on Facebook, which means nothing,” said Stern, “when so much needs to be done. Patrick Sullivan, who I met at a symposium at Bard College, will talk about how to use social media effectively for protest.”
She hopes many people will find an organization that aligns with their most passionate interests and skills, sign up, and get to work volunteering. “It feels much better doing something than doing nothing,” said Stern. “And everyone can do something.”
“Rock the Resistance” will be held on Sunday, June 11, at the Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker Street, Woodstock. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and the event runs from 4 – 6 p.m. Admission is free.