On a rainy Saturday afternoon, dozens of Rhode Islanders gathered in Providence classrooms, sitting behind desks usually reserved for the students of Hope High School. Instead of teachers, there were community leaders standing at chalkboards, imparting knowledge on fellow activists who see President Donald Trump’s agenda and policies as divisive and oppressive. The gathering was organized by a group that calls itself Resist Hate RI, and their primary goal is to push back against the new administration.
To both celebrate a month of victories and to plan for the future, well over 800 people filled the cafeteria of Hope High School as Resist Hate RI convened their fourth meeting, and their first meeting since Donald Trump‘s inauguration. From the number of hands that went up when organizer Aaron Regunberg asked, it seems that more than a quarter of those in attendance were first timers. Regunberg is also the State Representative for District 4 in Providence. He opened the meeting explaining that Resist Hate RI was formed to support existing community organizing efforts and catalyze resistance to the Trump Agenda.
At Resist Hate RI’s fourth community meeting, held Saturday afternoon at Hope High School, activists were joined by hundreds of people who have been inspired by the election of President Donald Trump to develop and flex their own political muscle.
The meeting served as a way for people to join causes that are important to them, including reproductive choice, the Burrillville power plant controversy, immigration, health care and voting rights, to name just a few.
The high school’s basement cafeteria had a standing-room-only crowd that rallied before breaking up into smaller groups in classrooms. Many of the smaller meetings offered training for activism, including how to interact with the media, how to track down and communicate with public officials, and how to run for political office. The event attracted an estimated 800 people.
At Hope High School in Providence Saturday afternoon, a group called “Resist Hate RI” hosted a community meeting. People who are anti-President Trump attended workshops focusing on several issues. This was the fourth community meeting event the group has held.
“Part of what we’re trying to do here is make change right here in Rhode Island, There are laws in the state that we need to change. We need to enact protections for reproductive rights,” said Craig O’Connor, Rhode Island Director of Public Policy and Government Relations with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.