UPDATE: A few thousand filled the grass bowl at Cal Anderson and then E Pine for a march to the Federal Building Thursday night in a rally and protest against the Trump administration’s latest moves to thwart an investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.
The night’s protest was part of actions across the country as some 100,000 reportedly marched in various cities across the U.S.
“I’m Jay Inslee and I’m the governor of a state of seven million people who insist on the rule of law to protect the United States Constitution,” Washington’s governor said as he spoke to the crowd just after 5 PM inside Capitol Hill’s central park.
“What we are doing tonight is speaking out early against a repeated unconstitutional fearful acts of a president who feels cornered,” Inslee said. “Because what we have seen in the last several days is the Americans speaking out to a United States House of Representatives that will finally hold him accountable.”
Washington’s House Rep. Pramila Jayapal called the latest actions by the Trump administration a “break glass moment” and the member of the judiciary committee said she was looking forward to wielding new subpoena powers.
“This president thought that after we marched to the polls on Tuesday, we took back the majority in the house, somehow we’d be a little tired and he’d sneak in a little constitutional crisis on us,” Jayapal said. “But we have a message for you, Mr. President. We are never too tired to stand up for our constitution.”
After a relatively brisk round of speakers, the crowd quickly filed out onto E Pine for the march downtown to the Jackson Federal Building where Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and a crowd awaited the arrival of the hundreds from Capitol Hill filing through downtown.
Before the march began, organizers circled through the crowd with big orange buckets to collect donations to help pay for the infrastructure used to hold the rally and protest.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal and others are expected to speak at a rally and march beginning at 5 PM in the neighborhood’s central park to “to stand up for the rule of law and protect the independence of the Mueller investigation” as part of protests planned in cities and towns across the country:
Thursday’s actions are being organized by Seattle Indivisible and include support from MoveOn, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Tax March Seattle, Seattle Indivisible, Indivisible WA-8, Indivisible Eastside, March for Truth, Common Cause, Stand Up America, SEA NO H8, SEIU, and Bend the Arc Jewish Action, organizers say.
UPDATE: Organizers say Governor Jay Inslee will join Jayapal, and Noah Eden, former branch chief, National Counterterrorism Center, as speakers at the rally.
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The Red Tide at the White House following Tuesday’s Blue Wave has triggered emergency plans activists have had in place for months for protests against Trump administration interference in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s influence on the 2016 election.
“These mass public protests are in response to President Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appoint Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General to oversee the Mueller Investigation,” the organizers write. “This unjustified firing undermines the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.”
Organizing groups say they would like to send the message that “no one is above the law” and are are calling on Congress “to respond quickly and forcefully to this act of obstruction of justice.”
Thursday’s rally will include speakers and a rally at Cal Anderson before a march to 2nd Ave’s H.M. Jackson Federal Building. Organizers are expecting hundreds to attend.
- 5 PM – 8 PM event includes march from Cal Anderson Park to Henry M Jackson Federal Courthouse.
- General route is westbound on Pine St to southbound on 2nd Ave.
- Estimated attendance is ~5,000; this is an estimate and may vary.
- Protest is expected to be peaceful; organizers are working with the Seattle Police Department.
The city says to expect “rolling closures as march progresses, starting from north to south along Pine, then onto 2nd.”
Wednesday night, a small anti-fascist protest against the Trump administration marched on Broadway, accompanied by a large Seattle Police presence.
Conveniently located near some of the densest neighborhoods in the city and a short walk from light rail, Cal Anderson has increasingly served as the gathering point for protests, rallies, and marches since Trump took office.
The full announcement from Thursday night’s protest organizers is below.