Rights & Democracy Love Trumps Hate Rally

Aly Johnson-Kurts

Rights & Democracy Communications Director

(802) 595-9593, aly@radvt.org

For Immediate Release

Burlington, Vermont - Over 500 Vermont residents gathered outside the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Thursday evening to show that “Love Trumps Hate” as billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump prepared to give a speech inside. In light of Trump’s call for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and a national registry of all people practicing Islam in the U.S., people from all over Vermont gathered to decry the hateful and racist message.

“Vermont needs to be a place where people of all walks of life are welcome – regardless of race, gender, or class. Trump is saying exactly the opposite, so we’re here to show that Love Trumps Hate,”said James Haslam, Executive Director of Rights & Democracy and organizer of the Rally for Love and Unity.

Following the Rally for Love and Unity, musical groups Africa Jamono and the Brass Balagan performed at City Hall Park for the chilly crowd. The rally and performances were part of the new Rights & Democracy 1Love Initiative that is building the groundwork for a grassroots campaign to fight racism in Vermont schools and the criminal justice system.

20,000 tickets were issued for the event, while only 1,400 seats are available in the Flynn. “They asked me at the door if I was a Trump supporter. I answered that I was there to listen and learn. The secret service then immediately told me I would be arrested if I didn’t leave,” said Barb Prine of Burlington. It is extremely unusual for a political candidate to allow only strong supporters to attend events, especially during a primary.

Next door at Vermont Pub & Brewery, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Ben & Jerry’s founder Jerry Greenfield, LT Gubernatorial candidate David Zuckerman, Gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter, and other familiar faces gathered. The pub crowd cheered “Bernie, Bernie!” every time someone was ejected from Trump’s speech across the street.

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