SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Monday has been a day of protest in several cities across the country, including in Springfield and Holyoke. Demonstrators gathered on the steps of Springfield City Hall late Monday morning, to draw attention to a variety of issues, ranging from environmental concerns to human rights. A similar protest was held in Holyoke in the afternoon.
President’s Day protests across the nation have been aimed at bringing attention to an assortment of different issues, and President Donald Trump has been a common ground in most.
“He’s creating divisiveness when we actually need to work together right now,” protest coordinator Beth Fairservis said.
A giant puppet, with the word “sanctuary” above its head and bearing the text of a “Declaration of Interdependence” was set up as part of the protest. Written on the puppet’s hands are the words “truth” and “love.” The puppet was created by the Hampshire County-based PachaMama Puppet Company. They are planning a series of protests at city and town halls throughout western Massachusetts every Monday through May 22. They also intend to deliver letters to the mayors of cities across the region.
Fairservis says that with Monday’s protest, they are “strongly urging Springfield to make this a Sanctuary for all immigrants for everyone in this country.”
Protests that are taking place across the country are focusing on a variety of topics, including human rights, environmental rights, immigration, and abortion. But there has also been pushback from Trump supporters.
“Standing up for what you believe in is a great thing and all, but really you got to give the guy a chance,” Nicholas Foley of Chicopee said.
Others say negative impacts are already being felt.
“We’re always going to grow an economy and we need to look at the limitations of the planet before economic growth,” Karen Ribeiro of Pelham said.
Right now, the protesters plan to continue voicing their concerns.
The weekly demonstrations are part of a larger community development effort, which will culminate on the second annual Inter-Dependence Day Festival and Parade in Northampton on July 1.