Story by Lourice Angie
Nearly 100 people gathered at the Railroad Green in the Village of Warwick on Thurs., Nov. 8 for an organized and peaceful protest against President Donald Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The well attended event was just one of more than 900 organized protests across the country by ‘Nobody is Above the Law’ website hosted by the political action committee MoveOn.org, and locally organized by Jonathan Talbot, Alice McMeechum, and Patricia McMillan.
The crowd, consisting of mostly Democrats within the community, held signs that read ‘No One is Above the Law’ and ‘Mueller stays,’ while others including children waved American flags. Event organizers opened the discussion voicing their concerns over the recent news of Trump requesting Sessions’ resignation and replacing him with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
Many fear this move is a direct threat to special counsel Robert Mueller and his ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. Whitaker is considered a friend and political ally of President Trump and a critic of the Mueller probe, raising more concerns that he will likely pardon witnesses or shut down the investigation all together. Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the investigation because of his work with the Trump campaign. Reports currently show that Whitaker has no intention of taking himself off of the Russia case and he is deeply skeptical of any effort to force the president’s testimony through a subpoena.
“Today it’s been heartening as people RSVP’d and others who couldn’t be here asked if I knew where they could attend somewhere else. A lot of people might not have made it here tonight but they’re trying to make it to other locations around the country. Thank you all for being here tonight,” said event organizer Alice McMeechum
Scott Martens who ran for NYS Assembly District 98 and lost to Karl Brabenec, was in attendance and directed his view to the signs in the crowd reading a couple out loud: “My outrage will not fit on this sign.”
“Our president can discount a lot of things including the media and other democratic officials, but one thing he cannot discount is the thousands and thousands of people outside right now. We will continue to gather and protest and continue to have our voices heard because we are the people and we have the power,” said Martens.
“In the spirit of what we’re doing here tonight, which is protecting our democracy in the words of the oath that all public servants except the president have to take when they assume office. We’re protecting our country from all enemies foreign and domestic. There are more than 900 events like this across the country. We know who won’t notice, but maybe some other people will,” said event organizer Jonathan Talbot before leading the crowd into the patriotic singing of America the Beautiful.
“Our constitution needs to be supported no matter what happens in Washington,” said protester Cheryl DeVine.
Lifelong civil rights Attorney Michael Sussman, of Sussman and Associates, in Goshen also attended the event. Sussman ran for Attorney General of New York as a Green Party candidate. He helped explain constitutional law implications regarding a situation such as this one to the crowd. The evening continued with a wave of patriotic songs and protesters received an opportunity to share their outrage and thoughts individually.
For additional information visit www.Moveon.Org.