Boston residents reject impeachment outcome in front of State House

Photo+credit%3A+Rachel+Culver

Photo credit: Rachel Culver

By Tomas Gonzalez, Visual Managing Editor

On a chilly and historic Wednesday night, hundreds of demonstrators turned out to the Boston Common to call out what they saw as the mishandling of the impeachment proceedings of President Donald J. Trump.

As demonstrators chanted “What do we want? Democracy! When do we want it? Now!” some 437 miles away in Washington D.C., senators voted Wednesday to acquit Trump from two impeachment articles—with a vote of 52-48 on the first and 53-47 on the second. The legislators voted almost entirely along party lines, with only Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, breaking with his party on the first article.

The first article charged the President with abusing his power by threatening to withhold monetary aid to Ukraine if the former Soviet state did not do his political bidding. The second article accuses the President of obstructing Congress by refusing to comply with a series of House subpoenas.

“It’s a sad day today, for what the Senate just allowed to happen, which was nothing more than a partisan coverup,” Reverend Vernon Walker said to the crowd. “Essentially the Senate Republicans didn’t want witnesses to come forth because they knew that witnesses would tell the truth, and the truth would condemn the current occupant in office.”

Common Cause Massachusetts, an organization that promotes activism within the local community, arranged the rally alongside Refuse Fascism, Sierra Club, Free Speech for People, March for Truth Boston and Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. Speakers included State Director for Senator Edward Markey Jim Cantwell and Ben Clements of Free Speech for People.

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Assistant Director of Common Cause Massachusetts Kristina Mensik said the organization decided to hold the rally when it became clear the Senate would vote to acquit Trump. Mensik also mentioned that the State of the Union Address affirmed the value of today’s rally.

“I think everyone must recommit to being active participants in our democracy,” she said in an interview with The Beacon. “So that it is clear that we will not tolerate the precedents that Trump has set and so that we can rebuild from this new low for American democracy.”

Mensik said Common Cause also helped organize 260 other rallies across the nation in cities like Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York.

Cantwell called for Democrats to remain together and vote in the coming election in November to remove President Trump from office.

Jacob Stern, the Deputy Director of the Massachusetts chapter of Sierra Club—an environmental organization with 3.8 million members worldwide—said the group supports impeachment due to the recent attacks on climate laws.

“We need a strong democracy and a strong judicial branch to uphold environmental regulations when they’re challenged in court, and the Trump administration has shown total disregard for the rule of law, endangering all the environmental laws we fought for over the last half a century,” Stern told The Beacon in an interview.

Massachusets Senator Ed Markey voted in favor of both impeachment articles.

“If we acquit President Trump, he will believe himself to be accountable to no one,” Markey said in a statement released before the vote. “And when—not if—but when he is again faced with the choice between the public interest and his personal interest, he will choose his personal interest. And it will, in part, be a reckoning of our own making. A majority in this chamber will have made President Trump a dictator.”