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East Haddam residents gather to talk about healing

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EAST HADDAM -- Given the recent protests around the country and locally, residents in East Haddam came together for a time of healing and talking rather than protesting about the political changes around the country.

People took turns speaking at the pulpit at First Church of Christ Congregational . The conversation sparked by a sign in town. It was written to immigrants and minorities among others, saying we love you and we will endure, but that sign was spray painted over with Trump 2016.

“I heard fear I heard anger but i also heard collectively a plan to make it better and that's very inspirational,” said Todd Gelston, an attendee.

“What happened here in town locally was really shocking and I felt like I had to be here to be in solidarity and show support,” said Sal Mangiagli, an attendee.

Some community members are saying this is more productive than a protest .

“Definitely more healing, I can feel the love and love is real important and I feel the love the warmth and the coming together and the healing and that's definitely a lot better than protest,” Gelston said.

The sign stood at the intersection of William Palmer road and Route 149.

“We're here to show that we love one another and we're here to come up with some solutions to what we can do moving forward,” Julia Bianconi said.

Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager who is the pastor of the church says she was thrilled to see members of her church and people in the community sharing their feelings in peace

“Respectfully listen to one another and tell stories of how they feel right now in this town that they love,” Fitzpatrick-Nager said.

“What happened today was an action a protest is a loud shout and there's a place for it but I think this is far better ,” Gelston said.

Now the billboard at the corner says "Together we make America great' which combines the two slogans of Trump and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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