People gathered in cities across the United States on Sunday, two days before Independence Day, to call on Congress to impeach President Donald Trump.
In Los Angeles, they carried a black coffin draped in red, white and blue flowers, topped with a hand-written sign: “The Presidency 1789-2017.”
In Austin, Texas, they marched from the state Capitol to City Hall, tussling with counter-protesters along the way, and in downtown San Francisco, a chant made their goal plain: “What do we want? Impeachment! When do we want it? Now!”
As in many other cities, protesters were greeted by supporters of the president in Austin.
“There’s no reason at this point to impeach the president. He’s committed no crimes. There’s no reason,” Jake Lloyd, who backs the president, told NBC station KXAN. “I don’t think they understand what impeachment is.”
The “impeachment marches” added to the fledgling effort among lawmakers who have invoked the “I” word.
Among them is Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who first called for Trump’s impeachment for obstruction of justice on the House floor on May 17 and who repeated his call to hundreds of protesters Sunday in Austin.
“I am here today because I love my country,” Green said before leading the Pledge of Allegiance and singing “God Bless America.”
“We cannot let others steal the notion that somehow they’re more patriotic than we are,” Green said. “We are patriotic Americans.”
In San Francisco, scores of protesters assembled near the Embarcadero and marched through the city chanting and waving signs — “Lock him up” among them.
“Every single thing that comes out of this president’s mouth, and every action he takes, is contrary to what I believe, and frankly I’ve had enough,” one of the protesters, Mark Ransdell, told NBC Bay Area.
DC Scarpelli, an actor and activist, described the protest’s goals this way to the station: “Resist loud, so loud that we won’t even hear the door slam when he’s dragged out of office.”
A similar scene played out 400 miles south, in Los Angeles, where thousands of demonstrators were joined by Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, NBC Los Angeles reported. Like Green, Sherman wants to boot Trump from office over alleged obstruction, and last month, he drafted and circulated an article of impeachment to other House members saying so.
“Every day, Democrats, Republicans, the entire world is shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur president,” Sherman said Sunday.
In New York City, protesters gathered outside a Trump hotel, where the now-familiar scene of dueling protests erupted in a shouting match, according to an Associated Press reporter.
In Philadelphia, there wasn’t a shouting match but, instead, a fight: Two anti-Trump protesters were arrested after a supporter of the president was attacked outside a downtown bar, NBC Philadelphia reported. A police officer was injured, the station reported, and a third person was issued a citation. The charges weren’t immediately clear.
It wasn’t just the big cities that drew crowds, either.
From Davenport, Iowa, protesters marched across the Centennial Bridge to Schweibert Park in Rock Island, Illinois.
“It’s interesting that this is going on during the Fourth of July weekend, and I hope as we reflect on how great this country is we can also reflect on how important it is to put country over party,” Dan Morris, of the Illinois activist group Rock Island County Indivisible, told NBC station KWQC of Davenport.
And in Amarillo, in the Texas Panhandle, a small march made its way through downtown to the local office of Republican U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, NBC station KAMR reported.
The march ended in a “die-in” to express support for the “99% of Americans either victimized or exploited by the Trump Regime,” the organizers, the High Plains Circle of Non-Violence, said in a statement.
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