Mark Ruffalo and More Stars Uniting for Rival Event to Upstage Trump's First State of the Union
As a progressive, politically active actor, Mark Ruffalo says he’s been called every name in the book — from “libtard” to idiot to ass-hat. He’s been mocked, threatened and told to “shut up.”
But none of that has ever stopped him from fighting for change — and that’s not about to change now.
Ruffalo is one of more than a dozen stars slated to participate in the People’s State of the Union on Monday, a star-studded public alternative to President Trump’s State of the Union speech the following evening. The event will unite activists, artists and other leaders of the resistance movement who have vowed to defeat Trump’s agenda in 2018 by turning out the vote and helping Democrats win back Congress.
“In essence,” Ruffalo tells PEOPLE of the event, “it’s a better reflection of our state of the union based on a more populist point of view, based on the people’s point of view. I think it’s important because we have a president who has a difficult time with the truth, who has a radical, divisive agenda, and spends an enormous amount of time focusing on the negative and hopelessness and despair.”
“We want to celebrate this moment that we’re in of what is now probably one of the most influential and powerful and really beautiful movements to come into play in the United States since the civil rights movement,” Ruffalo explains, going on to describe the event as “a celebration of the power and the beauty of this movement, but also of our accomplishments and to focus on what’s to come in the immediate future.”
Other stars expected to attend include Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Moore, Wanda Sykes, Zoe Kravitz, Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Najimy, Rosie Perez, and Andra Day and Common, who will perform their Grammy and Oscar-nominated song “Stand Up for Something” from the film Marshall.
The progressive groups We Stand United, MoveOn.org Political Action and Stand Up America are hosting the event, which will also be attended by representatives from United We Dream, AFSCME, Women’s March, Planned Parenthood and other organizations of the resistance movement against President Trump’s administration.
The event will also mark the official launch of We Stand United, the lead host organization of the event.
The group’s campaign director, Julia Walsh, tells PEOPLE that the event is intended not only as “a celebration and a look back on this resistance movement for the past year, but to look ahead. So no matter what the president says on Tuesday, we all know what we’re going to be doing from Monday night on. We’re going to continue to work together, we’re going to continue to build this broad-based movement across many different areas, and we’re going to win back Congress. This night is meant to be inspiring and empowering to all the people across this country that care about the state of this country and want to see it change.”
“We’re all going to work together across all different movements to make sure that we win back Congress in 2018 and hold this president in check,” Walsh says.
Ruffalo adds that he’s grateful that many different movements — from the environmental movement to the social justice movement to the women’s movement to the LGBTQ movement — are all coming together to work toward this cause.
“It’s the mother of all movements,” he said.