Unity for Ukraine: Fairfield Rallies Against War

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Danielle Prohaska

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, the world has been consistently and anxiously updating themselves on the battles in the capital, Kyiv and throughout the country. While foreigners may feel unable to directly support Ukrainians, showing support for the nation and donating are two courses of action that everyone can take. On Saturday, March 5, several hundred Fairfield citizens gathered at the Ukrainian American Club in Southport to speak out against President Putin and lift up Ukrainian-American voices.

Out of the few hundred protesters, various politicians and members of the local clergy were in attendance. Jim Himes (D-CT), a member of the House of Representatives, and Tony Hwang, a Connecticut state senator, both delivered short speeches condemning Putin’s actions and expressing their support for Ukraine. Rep. Himes even discussed a video call with more than 300 members of Congress and Ukrainian President Zelensky that morning.

Brenda Kupchik, Fairfield’s First Selectwoman, also gave a speech, and had the opportunity to briefly speak with Prospect afterwards. She stated, “I think everybody in our country is watching in horror of what’s happening over in Ukraine, thinking ‘this could happen to us.’ We are standing as best we can because we feel helpless to help the people of Ukraine. But we understand that if Putin is not stopped, that can happen anywhere. We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine fighting for their democracy.”

Protesters carried signs with phrases such as “Glory to Ukraine,” “No missiles should fly over children’s heads,” and “Stop Putin. Stop War.” Others gathered in a group and held a Ukrainian flag open to the sky. Some protestors wore traditional Ukrainian headpieces and outfits.

Reverend Alida Ward from Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, who was in attendance, voiced her feelings on the matter. “We are all children of the same God. Those who are suffering right now are our sisters and brothers, no matter our nationalities. To be at the rally today was to bear witness to that unity. Together we were doing what we could do right now to light a candle in the darkness, and speak out for good against evil.”

To come together in resistance to evil in the world is what sparks change and peace. As numerous speakers at the rally emphasized, “in unity, there is strength.”