Presidents Day protests decry Trump's
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[February 19, 2019]
By Robert Chiarito
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Activists in
Washington, Chicago and dozens of other U.S. cities protested on
Monday's Presidents Day holiday against President Donald Trump's
declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a U.S.-Mexico
Calling Trump's declaration an abuse of power and usurpation of
Congress, organizers with the nonprofit advocacy group MoveOn.org and
other participants said it was important to let the outrage over the
move be heard.
“We disagree with the state of emergency declared by the president and
stand with our immigrant colleagues and friends,” said Darcy Regan,
executive director of Indivisible Chicago, which co-hosted the protest
Trump invoked the emergency powers on Friday after Congress declined to
fulfill his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was his
signature 2016 campaign promise. His move aims to let him spend money
appropriated by Congress for other purposes.
The Republican president says a wall is needed to curb illegal
immigrants and illicit drugs coming across the border. Democrats and
opponents of the wall say it is unnecessary.
The protests in Chicago and Washington each drew a few hundred people on
Protesters gathered in Chicago’s Federal Plaza carried signs that read
“Dump Trump” and “Fake Emergency" and chanted “No wall, no fear,
immigrants are welcome here.”
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A woman holds a sign during a demonstration against U.S. President
Donald Trump on President's Day near the White House in Washington,
U.S., February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Cheryl Krugel-Lee, a 32-year-old student, said she brought her
4-year-old daughter to the protest in freezing weather to set an
example for her.
"This was a power grab by the Trump administration, and it’s immoral
and illegal," Krugel-Lee said.
Organizers said 250 events were planned, including in New York, Los
Angeles and San Francisco.
Democrats have vowed to challenge the national emergency declaration
as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. California state Attorney
General Xavier Becerra said in television interviews that his state
and others would sue the Trump administration on Monday.
(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Writing by
Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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