A star-studded cast of actors, entertainers and activists came together Monday to offer an alternative to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech.
Billed as a rally for the “resistance movement,” the People’s State of the Union featured anti-Trump celebs including Cynthia Nixon, Michael Moore, Rosie Perez and Mark Ruffalo.
“Our democracy is under attack, and we Americans need to cherish and to fight for it!” actress Nixon said.
Speeches calling for unity and equal protections for immigrants, people of color and the LGBTQ community set the tone of the events.
“This is the United States of America not the divided states of America,” comedian John Leguizamo said. “Make America great again. Really great. Not just for the white and the wealthy and the male and for a stupid slogan on a hat. But for all of us.”
The event took place at The Town Hall, a historic theater in New York built almost 100 years ago to support the women’s suffrage movement. Comedian Kathy Najimy noted the location’s significance as she lauded those who stood up for women’s rights in the first year of the Trump administration.
“Radical women are used to pushing boulders up hills,” she said. “Women by the millions are rising up and demanding change.”
A group effort
Labor leaders and community organizers joined in raising their voices against the Trump administration and calling on Americans to become more politically active as the 2018 midterm elections approach.
“We have to love our undocumented brothers and sisters. We have to love our trans communities. We have to love our Indigenous people. We have to love the women who have said #TimesUp and #MeToo. We have to love our planet.” said Paola Mendoza, artistic director of the national Women’s March group.
Political consultant DeJuana L. Thompson championed the political power of African-Americans, highlighting their role in the Alabama special election that sent Democrat Roy Jones to the US Senate.
“When you trust black women and when you invest in communities of color, things change immediately.”
Entertainer Common echoed her sentiments: “If we want a change we have to vote for people who see us, who value us, who represent us,” he said.
Andra Day and Common performed their song “Stand Up for Something” from the movie “Marshall.”
Live coverage of Trump’s speech starts at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN.
The President will reportedly dump the sharp rhetoric he’s known for and switch to a more bipartisan tone as he tries to sell his new immigration plan to skeptical Republicans and Democrats. Trump’s also expected to tout the economic accomplishments of his administration, including the GOP tax cuts.