- The Washington Times - Monday, February 20, 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators in the nation’s capital railed and rallied against President Trump and his immigration policies on Monday — part of coordinated Presidents Day protests across the country.

Crowded around the fountain at Dupont Circle in Northwest, activists held a “Not My President’s Day” rally before marching a little more than a mile to the White House. Mr. Trump was not at home; he was at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, to choose a new national security adviser.

Protesters wielded “Dump Trump” signs and called on Congress to impeach the recently inaugurated president.

“If he immediately upon election had starting behaving like a democratic leader, I would be happy to stand behind him,” said Rachel Markowitz, a D.C. resident at the rally. “But that’s not what’s happening.”

More than two dozen similar events organized via social media were held in other major U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Protests have proliferated nearly daily since Mr. Trump’s election victory in November. Since his inauguration last month, protesters have staged dozens of rallies and marches across the country.

Last week, thousands of people participated in a nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” strike, and thousands gathered in New York City’s Washington Square Park to hold a mock funeral for the presidency.

For many activists, including Ms. Markowitz, the “Not My President’s Day” event was not their first, second or even third anti-Trump protest.

“I plan to keep coming out,” she said, holding a sign that read “Donald Trump is what kleptocracy looks like.”

While the demonstration primarily targeted the president, Ms. Markowitz said, she hopes the message will reach those who voted for Mr. Trump as well.

“I think there’s a moral imperative to continue to keep letting not only the government know, but letting one another know,” she said. “People — especially the people who voted for him — need to be aware that what they voted for is a person who is trying to take advantage of everyone for his own personal gain.”

Lee Carter and Elizabeth Guzman, both U.S. House of Representatives candidates from Virginia, participated in the rally, which featured speeches by American Indian rights advocate Gray Michael Parsons, Black Lives Matter activist Steven Douglass and Mizraim Belman, an illegal immigrant.

Anne Modest said she expected the D.C. rally to have a larger turnout.

“It’s not well-advertised; that’s the problem,” said the 60-year-old D.C. resident, who demonstrated and marched with her dog, Wheaton.

Ms. Modest said she has attended almost every anti-Trump rally in Washington since Election Day and that there has been a strong outcry for Mr. Trump’s impeachment at every event.

“[Vice President Mike] Pence isn’t a great alternative,” she said. “But [Mr. Trump] is not presidential; he doesn’t speak for America.”

Even as more rallies are being planned, including a “Trump Taxes March” in April demanding that the president release his tax returns, Ms. Modest said she believes enthusiasm among the president’s critics will not wane.

“People see it on TV, with stories breaking every day,” she said. “As long as he keeps up, there won’t be lack of interest.”

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