Islanders rally to remove Trump

Demonstrators say recent events have ‘made a mockery of our Democracy’.

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A group of around 30 demonstrators gathered at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven Sunday to demand the removal of Donald Trump as the sitting president. 

The local rally was organized by members of Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard, and was part of a national initiative galvanized by moveon.org — a progressive public policy advocacy group and political action committee. It comes in the wake of Wednesday’s violent storming of the Capitol by some of Trump’s supporters who attempted to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as president. Five people died, offices were ransacked, and for a period of time lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence, were moved to secure locations.

At Sunday’s rally, participants held signs illustrating a shared objective, but each participant had personal reasons for wanting Trump removed from office.

Marjorie Mason told The Times at first she was unsure whether attending the demonstration would cause more division. But Mason said she decided to protest because she believes the truth needs to be advocated for, and the illegitimacy of the Trump narrative has steered many good people away from that truth. “In America, we stand up for what we believe in. I honor everyone who does that, because I honor the whole system of our democracy,” Mason said. “I am standing here today because what I believe in is the truth.”

Apart from those who turned to violence and aggression on Capitol Hill, Mason said, there were thousands of others who were demonstrating peacefully, “and they deserve respect and recognition for that.”

But the fear and intimidation engendered by those who chose to riot, Mason said, sets a dangerous example for the youth of our nation. “I am worried about young people, because they are looking at what is going on and might be confused or upset, but young people know what the truth is,” Mason said. She gave a message to the young people who might see violence or division on the news: “If you find yourself confused or frightened, not knowing who or what to believe, you have a compass inside you that will guide you to the truth.”

Karen English said she is concerned that if some kind of restraining order is not placed on Trump, he will continue to run for political office, and will perpetuate that same divisive and hateful rhetoric that led to the events in Washington, D.C. “A restraining order needs to be implemented immediately so that our sitting president cannot continue the abuse, and the [inciting] behavior,” English said.

Sarah Nevin, co-chair of the Martha’s Vineyard Peace Council, said she was at Five Corners to urge the Senate to pass articles of impeachment, and encourage Islanders to make their voices heard surrounding these issues. “I am here today because I can’t be there on the steps of the Senate floor,” Nevin said. “Peaceably, outside on the steps of the Senate. I don’t need to go inside, I don’t need to storm and be destructive or aggressive or violent.”

Nevin said a peaceful demonstration, like the one at Five Corners, elucidates the fact that people can make their voices heard without confrontation or intimidation. “This is meant to, here on our little Island, encourage people who drive by and read about it in the paper to know there are ways you can register your feelings and your opinion peacefully. People can be powerful without being aggressive or destructive.”

Another demonstrator, Nicola Blake, held a sign that read, “No one is above the law.”

She said she was “appalled” by the lawlessness in Washington, and by the fact that some people holding the highest political offices in America are complicit with the recent actions. “If we can’t hold our nation’s highest officials accountable, then who can we hold accountable? I care very deeply that the law is upheld in this country,” Blake said.

She added that from an international perspective, Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has not only irreparably damaged the country’s reputation, but has made other democratic nations question the legitimacy of our political system. “It’s more than just an embarrassment, it’s dangerous. This makes a mockery of democracy,” Blake said. 

Eugene Langston Jemison said the recent events on Capitol Hill have “drawn a line in the sand” between Republicans who wish to peacefully exercise their right to protest, and sycophants or blind followers of Trump who seek to obstruct the time-held traditions of American democracy.

“There are good people in the Republican Party — have been, always will be. They show up for what is right, they show up for humanity, I believe. But five people died on Capitol Hill, senselessly,” Jemison said. “I welcome the people who were on the side of Trump, but don’t cosign to the racist, separatist, all-about-myself mentality.”

By being a presence on Five Corners, Jemison said, demonstrators are keeping important political issues at the forefront of people’s thinking. “By standing out here with no violence and no aggression, we just keep people aware. Not like it’s something that’s here today and gone tomorrow. We need to deal with this now; this is not going away,” he said.

Protester Petar Petyoshin said America has always been the “melting pot of the world,” and he wants the rest of the globe to see our country as a place of acceptance and inclusivity. “The future of America is not white, it’s a rainbow of colors. As soon as people realize and accept that, we can move forward,” Petyoshin said.

  • …..and meanwhile the MV Times publishes unverified claims, from dubious sources, the seditious, murderous mob was not unruly.

    • James– Since any liberal who attended this protest would likely have been murdered by the mob there, the Mv Times published the eye witness accounts of someone who was there. He is likely a republican and a trump supporter. As far as I am concerned, nearly every trump supporter is the victim of an unscrupulous con man who has achieved cult leader status. If you consider that person’s account of what he witnessed to be unverifiable and dubious, that is your opinion. The times reported what the man said.

    • Mr Kozak. The MVTimes did no such thing. The MVTimes published the story of one man who went down there and told the Times what he saw and didnt see. You dont want it tobe true and you are entitled to your opinion but you have no reason to discredit the Times nor Mr Gallas who told it as he saw it. To suggest a seditious murderous mob is hyperbole in the extreme. An unfortunate incident along with many many similar incidents all summer all through this country with much more destruction.

      • michael– while it is possible to follow those little lines on the left side of the page to figure out who is saying what to whom, it would be clearer if you addressed who you were responding to.
        Your comment ” what are you talking about? ” could have been directed towards 3 different people.
        yeah. perhaps you know, and i can figure it out, but I ask everyone here , if you are replying to someone, please state that. It’s not too difficult.

  • Trumps speech and actions show a pattern of incitement and encouraging people to violence leads me to believe the man is a malignant narcissist who has proven he does not understand the result of this actions or doesn’t care. That makes him dangerous, being President makes him apocalyptically dangerous and using all legal means Trump should be removed immediately. Trump failed the people in Washington who came to support him in put them in danger and created a loose/loose situation. As a student of history this is eerily similar to Hitler’s last days in the bunker where he blamed the very people he purported to champion and ordered destruction of the country.

  • What sort of “inclusivity” are you talking about, if you refuse to even listen to those who disagree with you?
    Our country needs love and understanding now, if we are ever going to truly unite.

  • Look we all know this island is made up of 80+ percent liberal attitudes and people. We need to start at home to correct the divisive nature in this country. Most Trump supporters were weighing the option between him and Hillary Clinton an equally divisive person. Over the last four years and eye-opening has occurred with support for Trump the person which is different from Trump the policies. The seeds of discontent in this country did not start with Trump and will probably not end with Biden. This island and most everybody on it is way better off after the last four years let’s hope we can say that again in 4 more. Turn off the news, tune in to nature and turn into yourself.

    • I got way better off under Obama than Trump.

      The seeds of discontent in this country is due to others being different.

      And the people who are damn mad that that some people get things they think do not deserve when they know full well that they deserve everything that they have.