Protesters gather in opposition of Trump's recent actions in Helsinki
Nearly one month after the last protest in River Falls against immigration policies, another was held on Monday, July 23 from 4-5 p.m. at the same intersection, Cascade Avenue and Main Street.
This time the event was rallied in opposition of the "obstruction of justice" by President Trump which occurred on July 16, organizer Dr. Jackie Brux said.
Approximately 35 participants showed, Brux said, and they chanted "truth matters" and stood on sidewalks or walked cross walks while holding signs. Each sign participants held addressed a variety of issues, including Trump's relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, immigration rights, the need for facts and the state of the democracy.
Brux handed out fliers at the protest which outlined the protesters' concerns about Trump's actions at the summit in Helsinki on July 16, where he "crossed the proverbial red line on so many levels" at the controversial meeting with Putin, the flier read.
"People are traumatized by watching Trump vilify and demean everything we've ever believed in and worked for all our lives. For me, it's time for Americans to take a stand," Brux said in a recent interview. "And, it's especially important that politicians recognize our outrage for what it is and stop being complicit with the president."
"Today I'm specifically protesting the shameful performance of Trump at the Helsinki summit who seemed to be bending backwards to please Putin," participant Thomas Smith of River Falls said at the protest. "I find it threatening that none of the meeting was recorded. We have to depend on what two pathological nutshells to tell us."
At the intersection, many drivers who passed the protest honked or waved. One man with his window rolled down gave the protesters the middle finger.
"That's ok, everybody has their own opinion," participant Diane Wengelski said, "Everyone should assess the situation and vote. That's my point. Us being out here might get some Trump supporters to vote. I don't think the last election reflected what our country wants. 'Truth matters' is important to me, that truth is truth."
"A peaceful, lawful, and respectful response is important to me because I deeply believe in respecting each other and avoiding violence," Brux said. "It is also more effective for people to see a peaceful expression of views that does not give in to gimmicks or disrespect."
Brux also said she wanted people to go home from the rally and write letters to editors and contact legislators to take a stand against what outrages them.