With President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address occurring on January 30th, celebrities and activists decided to hold their own version of the event. The political organizations of We Stand United, MoveOn.org, and Stand Up America hosted The People’s State of the Union on January 29th at New York City’s Town Hall. As part of the Resistance Movement against President Trump, The People’s State of the Union was a powerful display of democracy in action.
Wanda Sykes kicked off the event, explaining the significance of the venue — since suffragettes built the Town Hall as a meeting place in the 1920s. She then introduced one of the organizers of the event, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo. He called the resistance against Trump a “movement of decency” and explained the intention of the event.
The Hulk actor then proceeded to mock the president’s lavish country club lifestyle before criticizing Trump’s tax plan (which benefits the super wealthy).
Ruffalo continued, “We want to celebrate this beautiful movement and our accomplishments and embrace each other in this fight to protect the rights of all Americans, including our Dreamers.”
He said this right before he revealed his T-shirt, which read, “We are all Dreamers.” Other presenters also wore this shirt during the evening to show their support for the Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. Their rights were protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program enacted by President Barack Obama, but Trump ended the policy in September. The government shutdown in January 2018 was in large part due to Democrats protesting the fact that the Trump administration had not come up with a replacement for DACA.
Besides Sykes and Ruffalo, other celebrities who presented at the People’s State of the Union included Patricia Arquette, Michael Moore, Andra Day, Rufus Wainwright, Cynthia Nixon, Common, Rosie Perez, Kathy Najimy, Lee Daniels, and Amy Schumer. Feminist activist Gloria Steinem was in the audience, and New York mayor Bill de Blasio also addressed the crowd.
If you missed the inspiring and unifying event, you can still watch the whole thing over on Facebook Live:
It will serve as the perfect palate cleanser after you watch Trump’s actual State of the Union address on January 30th at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.