Protestors returned to downtown Spokane on Monday afternoon to denounce President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for his long-promised border wall.
The gathering of more than 100 people on the Monroe Street Bridge was one of many Presidents Day protests across the country.
“I’m here because I’m protesting the fake emergency,” said Akua Lum, a Spokane apartment landlord.
“If it’s like any other government program, it’ll be a $100 billion wall before it’s done,” said Jim Dempsey, a retired construction worker who attended the protest with his wife, Pat, a middle school teacher who belongs to the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane.
Several protestors said they had taken part in previous Spokane events such as the annual Women’s March, where opposition to Trump and his policies was on full display. On Monday, they lined walkways on both sides of the bridge, holding signs and waving at passing cars.
There was no organized counterprotest, but a few drivers rolled down their windows to chant, “Build that wall!”
Vern Brock, a retiree who lives on the West Plains, said he attended the protest because he believes Trump’s emergency declaration muddies the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution.
“Invoking emergency powers is always a scary thing in any government, and I’d hate to see us going down that path. I could see the next president invoking emergency powers for climate change, and that’s just not how you do it,” Brock said, even though he believes urgent actions must be taken to cool down the planet. “That’s not how our government is designed to run.”
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