It was an unusual night in front of the White House, and these days, that’s saying something. As the sun set upon the nation’s capitol hundreds of people with signs gathered for the next night of protests, this time it was the ‘Confront Corruption’ rally.
Over 170 cities across the country planned rallies and candlelit vigils, including Detroit, NYC and Cleveland, Ohio. The event was co-sponsored by dozens of groups including Public Citizen, MoveOn and People for the American Way to name a few.
The crowd at the DC event was similar to the the previous night’s rally with Michael Avenatti and Alyssa Milano that we covered in numbers makeup but the tone was a bit more serious. Senators and Congressman spoke of the importance of continued vigilance and activism from Americans to call the Trump administration to task.
Taking to the podium were the usual suspects of outspoken members of the Congress. From the Senate there was Blumenthal, Whitehouse and Merkley and from the House there was Pocan, Sarbanes, Capuano and of course Nadler.
Yes, shockingly there was not a single Republican representative in attendance.
With nearly at least dozen speakers in total the speeches were short and to the point – each representative taking on different pieces of corruption in the Trump swamp. Senator Blumenthal started with the potential for disaster that was the appointment Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court due to his opinion on sitting Presidents being indicted, reproductive rights and so much more. “]Kavanaugh] has said that the President should be able to refuse to enforce the law…. he would put Donald Trump above the law.”
Senator Jeff Merkley hit upon Trump’s separation of children but also the dark money that helped get the President get elected. “Corruption through Citizens United, like a sound system, drowning out the voice of the people… how about we the people drown out the sound system produced by Citizens United.”
Environmental crusader in the Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse spoke to not just the White House corruption, but the corruption in the Senate, “I am here to report to you from the US Senate that a very small group of very large special interests has seized functional control of Congress. One particular special interest, the fossil fuel industry, has seized virtual complete control over the Republican Party. Today’s Republican Party is in essence the political wing of the fossil fuel industry.”
As the members of Congress went back to their offices the candles came out for the vigil portion of the event. Singers took to the small stage and, with the crowd joining sang “We shall not be moved…” as the street in front of the White House grew darker.
While the official events were over, there was one more group ready to have their voices… and instruments heard – an enormous mariachi band. They played their hearts out singing ballads and traditional songs most about Mexico. After a soul beating week (it was still only Wednesday) the music was sorely needed.