Protesters rallied outside Provo’s historic courthouse Saturday, Oct. 12., in support of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The rally, hosted by Women’s March Provo, was one of hundreds across the United States held this weekend.
House Democrats called for an impeachment inquiry against Trump after a whistleblower broke news about a phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump urged the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponent former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, according to the reconstructed call transcript. The White House has refused to comply with investigations.
“People are demanding that our Constitution be honored and the impeachment process be honored,” said Jorden Jackson, president of Women’s March Provo and rally coordinator. “The White House can’t just refuse to participate.”
The rally included an overview of impeachment proceedings, slam poetry from community members and speeches from local political leaders.
Local Democratic Party Leader Daniel Craig Friend addressed the protestors, saying that by colluding with foreign governments, Trump has compromised his ability to fulfill his longstanding promise to “put America first.” The White House’s noncompliance with House investigations, Friend added, is evidence of guilt.
“Trump is in serious trouble, and he knows it,” Friend said. “Like all liars, Trump is terrified of the truth.”
Other speakers cited reasons they believe Trump’s actions in office merit impeachment.
Roni Jo Draper, BYU education professor and National ACLU board representative, said the Trump administration’s policies on immigration at the southern border are sufficient cause for removal from office based on precedent set by the founding fathers.
“Many of us can relate to those men who, when seeking independence, declared, ‘The history of the present King of Great Britain’ — or insert another name — ‘is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,'” Draper said. “Don’t close your eyes or your consciousness to U.S. policies and practices that include the separation of children from their parents.”
Rally participants agreed with her conclusion.
“I don’t like how (Trump is) treating people trying to immigrate who just want to better their lives,” protester David Rodgers said. “I wanted to come out here and say how important it is to me that everyone is equal, that everyone is represented and that Donald Trump needs to leave.”
Democratic Utah Rep. Brian S. King, D-Salt Lake City, addressed the rally with an indictment of Trump’s morals and character. Protesters joined him in chanting “no more years” at the conclusion of his speech.
Jackson concluded the rally by encouraging protesters to call U.S. Rep. John Curtis and to ask him to support impeachment proceedings. Rally organizers invited him and other neutral Republican representatives to the event, Jackson noted, but they all declined to attend.
“I think this issue isn’t a partisan issue and it shouldn’t be,” protester Isabella Olson said. “Our president is abusing (his) power and breaking laws. No matter what party you’re in, you shouldn’t be able to get away with that, so I think it’s a gross abuse and misuse of power.”