Marjorie Taylor Greene headlines 'America First' rally in Plainfield
Plainfield — Flags displayed at the "America First" rally on Saturday took various forms, from attacks on President Joe Biden, to calls for former President Donald J. Trump's 2024 election, to an upside down stars and stripes signaling distress.
The event sponsored by the Quinebaug Citizens Alliance drew a crowd estimated by Plainfield Police Chief Mario Arriga at 1,000 to 1,500 people to K&H Construction.
Chants of "Let's Go, Brandon" could be heard from the audience throughout the day in what has become a viral catchphrase embraced by conservatives about Biden.
A lineup of speakers opened for headliner U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Those speaking inside a garage on the K&H grounds included former gubernatorial candidate Peter Lumaj, and Connecticut state representatives Doug Dubitsky, R-Chaplin, Rick Hayes, R-Putnam, and Anne Dauphinais, R-Killingly.
Greene was driven to the stage inside the garage in a black Humvee before taking the podium.
"You know they say terrible things about Connecticut, did you know that? They say it's filled with Democrats," she said. "Do we have any Democrats in here?"
The crowd met her question with denials and a drumroll.
"Okay, so no Communists," she said. "All I see is a bunch of beautiful Americans."
The crowd met her question about who their president is with chants of "Trump!" Acknowledging that many are upset about the election outcome, she said they need to vote, or they will "hand a victory over to the Democrats" during the midterms in 2022.
The rookie congresswoman described her experience sitting in the House chamber and watching a bill get debated by a small fraction of lawmakers using only a voice vote. She said her response was to use the governing body's own rules and procedures to force a recorded vote by asking for the "ayes and nays" instead of a voice vote, which triggers a message to all the elected officials alerting them to come down to vote.
"No one could finish their fundraising calls. No one could finish their lunches," she said, going on to describe her Democratic colleagues by referencing their age, religion and alcoholic drinking habits.
She said she continued to call for the recorded vote despite resistance within the Republican party.
"Every single member of Congress should be on record," she said. "The American people deserve to know if we vote yes or no to the crap bills that come through there."
Greene said actions like that have kept her busy working despite having lost her committee assignments in a House vote in February. According to the Associated Press, she was a member of the Education and Labor Committee and Budget Committee.
She was voted off those committees "for endorsing the executions of Democrats and spreading dangerous and bigoted misinformation," according to The New York Times.
Calling on the crowd to get involved, she said the actions of millions of like-minded people across the country will "completely eradicate Communism from our country."
"And it requires every single person in your circle of influence," she said. "Whether you're a stay-at-home mom and you're willing to go out there and yell at that school board as much as you possibly can; whether you're a dad that's worked hard all day long and is willing to go with your wife to yell at that school board as much as you can."
She also called on members of law enforcement — who she said see the worst of humanity and deal with people experiencing their lowest moments — to keep up their hard work.
Chants of "Back the Blue" from the crowd bolstered a theme of the rally, which also included speeches from Kyle S. Reyes, spokesman of the website Law Enforcement Today.
Organizer and emcee Kevin Skulczyck — a former corrections officer, Griswold first selectman and state representative — was among many speakers to reference the upcoming municipal elections when he emphasized the importance of getting involved.
"Run for the Board of Education and get the stupid out of it," he said.
Later, he illustrated the fact that every vote counts by telling the crowd how he won by just two votes in his inaugural run for first selectman.
As Lisa D'Andria of Norwich was leaving after Greene's speech, she said she's been to about a half-dozen rallies. She was there Saturday with friend Diane Allard in opposition to vaccine mandates.
"We're not just sitting here doing nothing, letting our country go to hell," she said.
D'Andria described Greene as a hero.
"Politicians are getting all lazy and complacent and she's fighting for change," D'Andria said. "She's not just letting things be the way they are. Waking people up, too."
American First Rally photo gallery
For more photos from the American First Rally in Plainfield click here.
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