Protestors gathered in Columbus Circle on Wednesday evening to protest the acquittal of President Donald Trump by the Senate on two articles of impeachment.
During the Senate vote, which took place 90 minutes before the protest began, every Democratic senator voted in favor of impeachment and — with the exception of Mitt Romney (R-Utah) who voted “guilty” for the first article, abuse of power — every Republican voted “not guilty” for both articles. The attendees of the Rise and Resist event, with the exception of a few dozen counter-protesters waving Trump 2020 flags, marched to show their contempt for the partisan procedure by which Trump was found innocent, according to attendees.
“It was such a sham, and a disgrace,” Richard Rice Alan said, an attendee adorned with anti-Trump regalia including — but not limited to —a three-foot-tall photo of Trump with a Hitler mustache edited onto its face. “It was a cover-up, not a trial. Mitch McConnell even admitted he wasn’t impartial!”
Alan advocates for a more aggressive attitude in dealing with the political issues of today.
“I’m sick and tired of the Democrats saying ‘Oh, we need to adhere to decorum.’ Bullsh-t,” Alan said. “The Republicans don’t believe in our form of government, in democracy. They want to rule, not govern. We have to fight that.”
Trump’s two articles of impeachment charged him with abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The impeachment process regarded an attempted deal with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, wherein Trump would trade U.S. military aid for potentially scandalous information about Hunter Biden, with the intention of harming Joe Biden’s ongoing campaign for the 2020 presidential election and thus exerting unconstitutional influence over the race.
Alan, like many other protestors, didn’t believe the specific charges laid against Trump mattered as much as resisting his broader agenda.
“Hopefully Congress doesn’t quit,” Alan said. “This defeat could allow them to draft new articles of impeachment to investigate any of his other crimes.”
Dan Miner, an NYU alumnus and member of Rise and Resist, shared a similar sentiment.
“Today we are acknowledging the vile and loathsome acquittal of Trump by the Senate for bribery and corruption and 400,000 other such offenses,” Miner said, pausing briefly to corral protestors into moving with the rest of the crowd.
Nearby, on the other side of crowd control barriers and police officers, pro-Trump counter-protesters chanted slogans that were mostly drowned out by their counterparts.
“Unfortunately, I think people who are really into Trump are members of a cult,” Miner said. “They’ve been brainwashed. I have nothing to say to them.”
Counter-protester Jim MacDonalds was chanting “Gays for Trump!” before pausing to comment.
“We’re here to show that there are real Americans in New York who respect the rule of law and the Senate decision that earlier today found our President innocent,” MacDonalds said.
He also questioned the practicality of protesting an impeachment vote that was almost guaranteed to fail.
“I think these protesters are pathetic. They do the same useless protest every two weeks,” he said.
Regarding his “Gays for Trump” chant, MacDonalds admitted he did not identify as LGBTQ+ himself.
“I just took up the chant,” MacDonalds said. “It was started by a colleague of mine that I greatly respect.”
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