Hundreds in Volunteer Park rally against Trump’s immigration emergency, another protest on Capitol Hill coming this week

With hippie era protest songs and candles, a Presidents Day crowd of hundreds gathered in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park to protest Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over immigration at the southern border. A rowdier protest is expected on Broadway later this week.

Monday at Seattle’s gathering part of protests organized in cities across the county, the message was about fighting back, hope, and politics.

“We know that there is no national emergency,” Governor Jay Inslee said in front of the chilled crowd that gathered around the Black Hole Sun statue in the ice-cleared park. “There is only a political emergency because Donald Trump’s abusive, hate filled rhetoric has been rejected by the American people.”


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Inslee, who is raising money to explore a run for the Democratic nomination to square off against the GOP in 2020, said there are real emergencies that the nation should be tacking action on including gun violence, and climate change.

“We know we are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change. And we are the last generation that to do something about it,” Inslee said.

“This nation needs a leader there can create a message of clean energy economic growth to defeat climate change. That is the emergency that we can respond to.”

Congressional Rep. Pramila Jayapal also called Trump’s actions a “fake emergency,” unconstitutional, and “an end run around Congress’s authority.”

“It’s not about the border wall at all. It was about a president who has consistently during his campaign, during the first two years of my time in Congress, all the way til now, has tried to divide us, has tried to make it seem like somebody is the other — like immigrants, people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ, women,” she said.

Jayapal, who promised the crowd “some pretty important things” would soon be happening in the judiciary committee including an investigation of the national emergency declaration, said the anti-immigration efforts of the Trump administration are the real crisis.

“The crisis is the humanitarian crisis that this president created when he banned asylum and stopped people from legally coming into the country to seek asylum,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal said she would soon address another “real” priority around health care with her Medicare for All Act, a bill that would create a government-run single-payer health system “even more generous than the current Medicare program.”

Earlier in the day, volunteers joined organizers including SEA NO H8 in clearing the ice and old snow from around the Isamu Noguchi sculpture and plaza overlooking the Volunteer Park reservoir and Space Needle beyond.

Monday night’s event echoed another rally attended by Jayapal and Inslee and organized by MoveOn and the local Indivisible contingent that brought thousands to rally and march from Cal Anderson in November.

Wednesday, Capitol Hill could see a smaller but rowdier protest as activists are planning a #blockthewall Solidarity March. Here’s the info on the protest planned to begin gathering at Capitol HIll’s Seattle Central at 4 PM Wednesday:

We’ve decided to call for a Solidarity March at 4pm on Wednesday, the 20th of February at Seattle Central College to show that those suffering due to borders, austerity, and state repression are not alone. We also hope to make this a space of encounter where we can find each other and take action to join with networks already doing things together to share aid and disrupt the apparatuses of brutality.

Tuesday, meanwhile, brought a familiar face to the start of the 2020 race for president. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who proved hugely popular in the 2016 Democratic caucus efforts in neighborhoods around Central Seattle including Capitol Hill but ultimately lost out on the nomination, declared he will again enter the race.


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8 thoughts on “Hundreds in Volunteer Park rally against Trump’s immigration emergency, another protest on Capitol Hill coming this week

  1. Sanders running for pres is bad news for the Democratic party, IMO. He’ll eat up some votes that should go to a more moderate D who could actually get elected.

      • Second photo from the top on the right side. It shows someone holding a bumper sticker that reads, “DONALD: CALL HOME 1-800-MOSCOW”

        I remember when it was Republicans and the extreme right wing John Birch Society doing the red-baiting. Curious to see liberals joining that despicable club.

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