A crowd of 70 islanders, joined by the Backbone Campaign, protested at the four-way stop Friday evening in support of special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation, condemning President Donald Trump’s appointment of acting-attorney general Matt Whitaker.
“I’m here to make a difference and to show up and walk my talk. I really want to see a change. The more bodies the better,” said islander Nan Draper, who was passing fliers to drivers stopped at the intersection as more people gathered on the sidewalk. On the flier was a list of demands, including that Congress act to protect the special counsel, hold bipartisan hearings on obstruction of justice and abuse of power, and call for Whitaker to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation.
The fliers were provided by islander Kevin Jones, a political activist on Vashon, who organized the event to coincide with national demonstrations. At a microphone outside The Hardware Store Restaurant, Jones told the crowd that the president had “crossed a line” in firing former attorney general Jeff Sessions, adding that Whitaker has said that the Mueller probe is an overreach, as he wrote in an op-ed for CNN last year.
“We are here to send a clear message to Congress that no one is above the law, not even Donald Trump,” said Jones.
In Seattle, protesters there listened to speeches from officials such as Gov. Jay Inslee, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who cited the rule of law as essential to the function of a democracy.
Jones said that he was impressed with the turnout on Vashon, as people in communities nationwide assembled for an opportunity to represent their concerns.
“Our main objective is to spread the word and to create awareness,” he said. “It’s important that we make sure [Trump] follows the rules of law and that we hold him accountable.”
Carrying signs such as “collusion is not an illusion,” and “Keep Bob on the job,” the protesters chanted and cheered as passing cars sounded their horns.
“We’re just here to make a statement and to make it as big and bold as we can,” said Art Chippendale of the Backbone Campaign. “We’re ready to act whenever something comes up.”
— Paul Rowley