Protesters chant “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” at the intersection of Northeast 124th Street and 124th Avenue Northeast Thursday evening. Kailan Manandic, staff photo

Protesters chant “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” at the intersection of Northeast 124th Street and 124th Avenue Northeast Thursday evening. Kailan Manandic, staff photo

Kirkland locals rally in national protest to protect Mueller

Protesters across the nation respond to former Attorney General Jeff Session’s resignation.

The main hub of Totem Lake was filled with chanting voices and honking car horns on the evening of Nov. 8 as hundreds of protesters mobilized in response to President Donald Trump’s newly appointed attorney general.

“Nobody is above the law,” was the message of more than 250 people who signed up for Thursday night’s protest, which too place at the intersection of Northeast 124th Street and 124th Avenue Northeast, just south of the Village at Totem Lake. Protesters filled each corner, hoisting signs and marching through crosswalks at each opportunity. Numerous cars passed by during rush hour and honked in support.

“I’m delighted and I think more [people] are coming,” said protester Kathy Sharp. “This was organized within a very [short] timeframe. I’ve known less than 24 hours and that’s how important it is to me, to make sure the actions of the Trump administration do not squash us finding out the truth, whatever the truth might be.”

Totem Lake’s protest was one of many that sprung up throughout the nation calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election season.

The protests come a day after Trump asked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. He is replaced by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has been critical of Mueller’s probe.

Protesters claim this is a deliberate attempt from the White House to obstruct the investigation.

“We’re going to be out here until either Congress enacts some law or rule to protect Mueller [or] this guy, Matthew Whitaker recuses himself,” said MaryAnne Stirrett, a protest organizer.

Numerous groups organized a national network of protesters who all vowed to respond en mass to anything they see as an attempt to obstruct or fire Mueller after Trump dismissed former FBI director James Comey in 2017.

“We decided that if it ever got to the point where Trump actually did fire Mueller, that is a red line and we would all take to the streets,” Stirrett said. “The gentleman he appointed to take Sessions’ place and [oversee] the investigation…stated that he thought the Mueller investigation is wrong and should be stopped.”

The group’s website is titled, “Nobody is above the law — Mueller protection rapid response,” and they mobilized the nationwide protest within about a day.

The Totem Lake protest group only had 50 people involved on Nov. 5, according to Stirrett, but by Thursday’s protest, there were 285 signed up.

“I think it just says how many people don’t want Trump to think he’s above the law,” Stirrett said.

Stirrett, her group and the national network plan to continue protesting each evening until Congress takes action to protect Mueller or Whitaker recuses himself.

“We’ll keep coming back and keep doing this every night until they give in,” Stirrett said. “Hopefully the crowds will get bigger and bigger…We’re here to protect the rule of law.”

The Reporter will update this story as it develops at www.KirklandReporter.com.


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