On the eve of a House vote to impeach President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of Americans rallied across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in support of removing the quid-pro-ho from office.
In Times Square, hundreds of protesters held a banner quoting the Constitution for all those sequestered in the city’s skyscrapers to read:
“The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
In other cities, demonstrators melded their thirst for impeachment with a little holiday cheer. “All I want for Christmas is Trump impeached,” read a sign in Mobile, Ala., according to AL.com, while a crowd in Saint Paul, Minn., flipped the lyrics to “We wish you a merry Christmas” to “We wish you would leave the White House, some time by New Year,” CNN reports.
The “Nobody Is Above the Law” rallies were attributed to the grassroots campaign impeach.org; NBC News reports that more than 600 pro-impeachment demonstrations were held across the country Tuesday night. But while the rallies were widespread, media outlets noted that turnout was considerably lower than other major protests in recent years, like the Women’s March or the Youth Climate Strike.
Patricia Arnold, a retired journalist, attended rallies at Federal Plaza and Trump Tower in Chicago. (Editor’s note: Arnold is also the mother of The Glow Up’s Managing Editor, Maiysha Kai.) She described the mood at the protests as “subdued” compared to others.
“While you could feel the sense of urgency to right the ship, there were fewer loud, angry chants; more attention was paid to the speakers,” she told The Root.
The lower turnouts may reflect a few things: the nation is divided on impeachment, though historically, impeachments have never been popular (there is even an argument that there is more support for Trump’s impeachment than for previous presidents’). There is also a sense of inevitability permeating the Congressional proceedings. The Democratically-controlled House will vote to impeach the president, putting him on trial before a Republican-backed Senate, which is expected to clear him on all charges.
As NBC News reports, one Denver demonstrator suggested that folks may simply be “Trump-sick.”
“Everyone gets Trump-sick,” Thaddeus Bruno, another protester, responded. “You take your Tums and go to the next rally.”
Like Bruno, Arnold considers protesting a necessary act of defiance.
“I protest because remaining silent about the cruelty and criminality of this country’s leadership signals acceptance, and that would crush my very soul,” she said.
That doggedness was echoed more than a thousand miles away, in Montgomery, Ala. They may not make the White House Not-a-Steaming-Pile-of-Orange-Fecal-Matter again, but Auburn resident Rusty Spell wasn’t ready to accept Trump’s acquittal as inevitable.
“I think everybody should always do the right thing regardless of what they think the outcome will be,” Spell told Al.com. He was one of about 70 people who gathered at the state Capitol in Montgomery Tuesday night. “There’s still a chance if the American people are loud enough the Senate will listen.”