Digital Photo Editor
In response to the resignation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General in the Trump administration, community members of Santa Barbara held a protest at De La Guerra Plaza on Thursday.
As part of a national movement sponsored by MoveOn, members of the Santa Barbara Progressive Coalition and Indivisible SB gathered with other activists to show their support for the Mueller Russian investigation. CA had over 100 similar protests across the state, which was the most for that day in any state.
Those who participated in these protests are fearful that the resignation of Jeff Sessions will invite Trump to appoint someone who will fire Robert Mueller and disband the FBI investigation of the 2016 election.
The FBI started its investigation into the Trump campaign to determine if he or any of his associates were involved with Russian interference in the election. Although no collusion has been found, many people involved in the Trump campaign have been indicted by the FBI.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, protesters started their march from De La Guerra to Anacapa street in Downtown Santa Barbara. Over 500 community members participated in the “86, 45” chant which refers to impeaching President Trump.
86 is often a term used to mean firing someone, while 45 refers to the Presidential number Trump holds. Protestors also chanted “No one is above the law,” and “Whitaker must recuse.” The interim Attorney General Matthew Whittaker is being urged by Democrats to recuse himself from the FBI investigation.
This would be similar to the previous Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from the FBI probe.
As the protesters marched down the block, many bystanders raised their fists in the air, honked their car horns, or joined in the the chants to show their support, with no signs of vocal opposition to the protest.
Police officers blocked traffic throughout the protest route, yet the peaceful protest met no resistance from law enforcement or opposition parties.
Ben Campbell, a fifth year triple major in computer science, philosophy, and classics, was one of the organizers with MoveOn for this event. After encouraging the crowd to continue fighting after the march, Campbell spoke with The Bottom Line about how the progressive movement is not yet dead in America.
According to Campbell, voting in candidates who encourage the message that “you matter, your vote matters” is essential for the progressive movement to rise in the U.S. government. Creating a strong, community-oriented grassroots movement is essential in sustaining the progressive movement, Campbell said.
Community members Steven Lovelace and Tina Kerrigan spoke to The Bottom Line about how, as progressives, they are not yet defeated.
“We are the majority,” Lovelace says. They also argue that the electoral college is to blame for the loss of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race. Lovelace also stated that city voters are feeling discriminated against because of how the electoral votes are distributed between smaller and larger states.