On Wednesday night, two groups of more than a dozen protesters hit Main Street in the City of Oakley to both showcase anti-Donald Trump sentiment while a second group rallied in support of the president.
The demonstrations, which occurred in front of City Hall, remained peaceful on both sides with the exception of a few shouting matches between protesters and vehicles driving by.
The goal of the anti-Trump protesters was to shed light on what is believed to be corruption in the white house.
According to the “event” posted by Liz Elias, they wanted to highlight:
Attacks on the rule of law to conflicts of interest, ethics violations and flagrant abuse of government offices for personal gain, the corruption of the American government by the President, his associates and many in his party has reached a new, profound low.
Officials are trading on the power invested in our institutions for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people. From attacks on the Russia investigation to ethics scandals in the highest offices in the land, we must reject attempts to shield corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, and legal accountability.
These issues are on top of years of challenges to the basic health of our democracy: from money in politics to attempts to shape congressional districts to manipulate outcomes and laws written intentionally to exclude voters from participating in our democracy.
Elias said Wednesday she was pleased with the turnout.
“This is a vigil against Donald Trump,” stated Elias. “People in office think they are above the law from the president on down that are trampling on our constitutional rights. If we don’t flip Congress to blue this November we are screwed.”
Harry Thurston of Invisible East Contra Costa County joined the protest in Oakley because he saw people were gathering and he wanted to support them. He said will be hosting a similar non-violent protest on Thursday in the City of Antioch at Hillcrest Avenue and Lone Tree Way from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
“Just recently we are on a very slippery slope and our democracy is fading like an ice cube, people are being held in detention centers, we haven’t heard of that since the 1940’s and now our president has gone abroad and has been against the United States and in favor of Russia,” explained Thurston. “Something has to be done soon before there is no more America left.”
Meanwhile, a 100-yards away at the corner of Main Street and Norcross, a dozen people stood at the Oakley Veterans Memorial. It was a mix of local veterans watching over the memorial along with a half-dozen Donald Trump supporters.
Smitty Smith, of the Veterans of Oakley, stated members of his organization were not participating in either demonstration, however, they were only there to watch over the Veterans Memorial.
“We asked them to move their protest down there and not pick the veterans memorial so they kind of fought us on this so when word got out to the veterans community, people began to show up,” explained Smitty. “We never asked for anyone to be here, but people began to show up. There is a passion for any memorial no matter what town it is in. That memorial is sanctified by any veteran who has served our country.”
Smith added that they believe everyone has the right to protest, but ask people to respect the Veteran Memorial.
The protests were peaceful with police asking at least one man to leave the area after he began arguing with motorists.