Late Thursday evening, (Nov. 17) members of the grassroots group Peaceful Families United, announced that they had decided to cancel the silent peaceful demonstration they had planned to hold Saturday. In a post on the group’s Facebook page, they said that they had decided to cancel the event “with a very heavy heart” because they won’t be able to secure liability insurance that is necessary to proceed.
In the message, the three lead organizers–Cali Burton, Marie Moloney and Reneé Torres–write that they learned from an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that, “…in order to hold the demonstration Saturday, we would require a bond or liability insurance, which is something that we are unable to acquire at this time.”
In the week leading up to Saturday, Burton, Moloney and Torres worked with town and police officials to secure all the required permits. They were working with a Wilton Police Department lieutenant and had obtained a temporary permit with all required signatures, including from the police, fire marshal, town CFO, Planning and Zoning Department and the First Selectman‘s office. But without liability insurance, they would be potentially personally exposed in the case of any lawsuit.
Since forming, they have maintained a non-partisan stance and had originally said the demonstration would be “a coming together in the community…not a demonstration against the election results.” The three women described themselves to GOOD Morning Wilton as “a diverse group of Fairfield County moms united by one common goal: to bring civic responsibility awareness to our communities through unity and love. We strive to promote a family dialogue and to give resources and information for parents to accomplish this.”
Embracing diversity and promoting civic responsibility, they said is “a moral and not a political stance.”
“We want to bring awareness and empower families to take positive action toward their own civic obligations by promoting love, understanding, unity, equality and respect among all. We are stronger as a community when we embrace our differences and promote kindness and understanding,” the women told GMW in a written statement.
Burton is a Wilton resident, and Moloney and Torres live in nearby Fairfield County towns. They said they had been motivated to create the silent peaceful demonstration because they had all heard “unfortunate stories about children acting out” in the days leading up to and following the Presidential election in their separate communities, and wanted to come up with something positive to help inspire parents to open a dialogue with their children.
“The idea that children could be waking up today more afraid than they were yesterday, as a consequence of the irresponsible words of a few, was heartbreaking to us as moms. This dialogue can be about how children are feeling and what positive steps they can make as human beings to improve the situation. Even small things matter, like smiling at someone who may be different or including them. Also children need to be encouraged to reach out to a trusted friend, adult or teacher when they hear or see injustice. It takes a collective effort to make our communities a better and safer place for all.”
Just because they cancelled the event, however, doesn’t mean the three women or the people who have joined their Facebook group, won’t continue to work toward their goals. They say they will continue to “post messages, talking topics to have at home with your families, articles that will help spread civic awareness and local volunteering opportunities in our neighboring towns.”