Hundreds rally in Denver supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump

They flowed over the Capitol’s west steps chanting, “Lock him up!”

Brenna Hatmai screams a protest chant during a rally supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump at the state Capitol, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Brenna Hatmai screams a protest chant during a rally supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump at the state Capitol, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

KEVIN-lighter

Hundreds of people rallied outside the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Tuesday night, the eve of the U.S. House’s scheduled vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The protestors gathered to show support for the impeachment, waving signs and chanting slogans like, “Lock him up!” Local activists also addressed the energetic crowd.

“Tomorrow the House votes on whether or not the president violated the constitution, and I think we all know the answer,” community organizer Justine Sandoval said from the steps of the Statehouse. The crowd boomed in response: “Yes!”

Tay Anderson, an activist who was recently elected to the Denver Public Schools Board, used a megaphone (the mic had malfunctioned) to call out Sen. Cory Gardner.

“In 2020, we’re going to hold Cory Gardner accountable. But we need Cory Gardner to hold the president accountable,” he said. “We need leadership that’s going to actually fight to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. We need leaders in this country who are not afraid to stand up.”

Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson speaks into a megaphone during a protest supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver Public Schools board member Tay Anderson speaks into a megaphone during a protest supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A protest supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A protest supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Among those in the crowd was Susan Kelly, who said she heard about the rally on Monday and wasn’t going to miss it.

“In many days gone by, I have felt very angry but also helpless,” she told Denverite. “I’m not a political person with power, and I feel that this is one way I can say to people in my city (and) my community how I feel.”

Irvin and Marilyn Brown also attended and said they’ve hoped for an impeachment since the president was elected.

“We didn’t want him to be president,” Marilyn said.

“We never thought he would be this bad though,” Irvin added.

“It’s just gotten worse and worse. His personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is in prison for crimes that Trump committed,” Marilyn said. “And that’s just one thing.”

Colleen Pearce leads chants aimed at passing cars during a protest at the Capitol supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Colleen Pearce leads chants aimed at passing cars during a protest at the Capitol supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Dec. 17, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Besides Anderson, no elected officials spoke during the event. Emcee Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, who ran for state office in 2018, told Denverite he would have liked to see more politicians present.

“I wish there were more elected officials who would speak out,” he said. “Our democracy is at stake. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

The rally was organized by the activist group MoveOn and the Progressive Democrats of America. A press release said there were similar protests planned in Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Idaho Springs, Longmont and Pueblo. An event page set up by MoveOn lists events in 45 cities across the nation. More protests than those on the official list have been reported, like the one in Grand Junction reported by CPR News’ Stina Sieg.

All eyes will be on the U.S. House on Wednesday, when impeachment proceedings continue. In the last week, Colorado’s representatives have sided with their own parties on whether to vote to impeach. Democratic Rep. Jason Crow has faced calls from some in his large Aurora district to vote no. He said recently that he would support Trump’s impeachment.

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