Many show up in Midd for impeachment rally

PHOTO BY JASON Duquette-Hoffman

MIDDLEBURY — Around 150 citizens came out in the snow on Tuesday to line both sides of the Cross Street Bridge in Middlebury, hoist signs and tell passing motorists how they felt U.S. Congress members should vote in the historic impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The demonstrators, holding and waving a wide range of homemade signs, were greeted by some honks and waves from passing cars and trucks.
At least half of the people held a sign, and clearly they were last-minute improvisations — spray paint on cardboard, magic marker on posterboard. Some were more carefully painted with a brush. Many of them simply stated “Impeach + Remove.” Others instructed more broadly: “Defend our democracy.” Turning Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan back on the president, one sign said, “Make America Great Again! Impeach Trump.” Others singled out obstruction of justice, extolled the virtues of democracy and called Trump “Hazard in Chief.” 
A woman brought a book on the U.S. Constitution, and it was filled with bookmarks and annotations on where the current president has deviated from his duties. Another held up a bottle of a juice concoction called “PEACHMINT” to which she had inscribed “IM” at the beginning of the name so the label read “IMPEACHMINT.”
A sign written in characteristic 18th-century script echoed the Constitution with the simple phrase, “We the People.”
One woman held aloft a very large cardboard box on a pole; she said her husband made the placard. On the box emblazoned in large letters were the words “Let Bolton Testify,” urging Trump’s former national security advisor to tell what he knows about the Ukraine affair that led the House of Representatives to vote on impeachment on Wednesday.
Bethany Barry, one of the organizers of the protest, put the case for impeachment clearly: “Donald Trump bribed a foreign country to interfere in our election. He must be impeached and removed because no one is above the law.”
Organizers threw together the event in a little over a day so it would coincide with 600 similar demonstrations taking place at the same time in all 50 states. Bobbie Carnwath, Fran Putnam and Barry heard about the nationwide protests bubbling up on Sunday afternoon and began working together to reach out to as many people as they could to show up in Middlebury. They said they were satisfied with the turnout.
Putnam said someone in one car seemed to be shouting something opposed to the demonstration, but otherwise the reception was positive.
Barry echoed the sentiments of pretty much everyone there when she referred to the alleged crimes of the president of the United States, who took an oath to uphold and protect the laws of this country.
“He must be held accountable,” she said.

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