HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A group of 60 protesters braved the mid-day sun Monday to rally for change, putting the heat on elected officials.
Addys Castillo from New Haven’s Citywide Youth Coalition pointed at the State Capitol building, defiant that the group will “hold this legislator, this building accountable.”
The groups were collectively representing immigrants, youth and Black and Latino communities. They demanded the Lamont administration to stop evictions, take police officers out of schools and expand access to the state’s husky insurance for immigrants.
“We know that the Governor of Connecticut Ned Lamont and legislators of Connecticut are working day in and day out to pit us against each other to pass half baked policies,” said Eric Cruz López, People’s Coalition for Liberation.
The group of self-proclaimed abolitionists wants police accountability and to defund departments.
Katherine Morris, of Black America Undivided, believes “the 13th Amendment didn’t abolish slavery, it reformed it.”
“One of our demands is for New London Public Schools to sever ties with the New London Police Department and re-allocate $1 million from the New London Police Department 2020 budget to New London Public Schools,” said Ivana Etiene of Hearing Youth Voices, who was traveling from New London.
Lawmakers will debate and vote on police accountability and several other items during this week’s special session.
At a press conference late Monday, the governor reacted to the abolitionist’s demand to cancel rent.
“It reminds me that people are hurting badly,” he said. “Just because we had a grace period for rent, doesn’t mean people have saved up money.”
Lamont pointed to more money in the federal Heroes Act pending in Congress as a solution to keeping immigrants in their homes.
Several other rallies are scheduled this week at the Capitol as well.
Some of the legislative leaders will be gaveling in on Tuesday to open the special session and accept new rules about safe voting amid the COVID fears. Then on Thursday, the full House of Representatives will convene to debate and vote on laws. The State Senate is expected to vote next week.