SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The chants were loud and the signs had bold colors with messages like "And justice for all. Barr none. Release the full report" and "Release the report your cliff notes don't count."
About 75 people came to the South Orange Train Station with the same message that U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr needs to release the full Mueller Report. Meanwhile, dozens also showed up on Montclair's Church Street, with the same cry.
Fewer people showed up to the rally, which was part of the national movement, "Nobody is Above the Law," than had signed up through MoveOn.org, but the protestors who came were proud to make their voices heard.
Local resident Nancy Kaplan came out to the rally because she wanted to show her support for seeing the full Mueller Report.
"The people have something to say and they are showing they have power if they show up," said Kaplan.
Kaplan and the other local residents who attended Thursday's rally are urging the U.S. Congress to require Barr to release the full report, which could include information about any possible role the Russians had in the U.S.'s 2016 Presidential Election. The Washington Post reported that Barr found that Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign did not participate in a conspiracy to undermine the election. But local residents believe they should be privy to know all of the report's findings since they are taxpayers and U.S. citizens, and they believe the Trump Administration is not being transparent with the information.
"It's important for Congress to know we are engaged, we are watching, and we want to fight back," said Protest Organizer and SOMA Action Chairwoman Amy Higer. "It's our money and our government. We need to know what's going on."
The rally included speeches from local leaders such as former governor Richard Codey, New Jersey Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27), SOMA Action members Higer and Michael Paris, and Maplewood Township Mayor Vic DeLuca and Township Committeewoman Nancy Adams.
REMEMBERING FORMER NEWARK MAYOR: https://www.tapinto.net/articles/local-activist-remembers-ken-gibson-2
Rallygoers then took turns reading paragraphs from the "It's not OK speech" written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who represents California's 28th Congressional District. In the speech Schiff wrote about how he disapproves of the way President Donald Trump and his associates interacted with the Russians during the 2016 Presidential Election. Schiff says in the speech, "I don't think that's ok," in reference to the president's behavior and actions.
Reading the speech aloud was a way for members of the community to interact with one another who they hadn't met before and added a theater element to the rally, explained SOMA Action Trustee Michael Paris.
"It was creative and it was face-to-face communication," Paris said, noting that reciting speeches like Schiff's is a way for individuals to learn about democracy.
Paris said that SOMA Action participated in one of 500 rallies throughout the United States on Thursday for the "Nobody is Above the Law" movement.
The leaders who spoke encouraged the ralliers to chant messages like "Release the report now," and "Hey, hey, ho, ho. We've got power, let him know."
"It is absolutely essential that we stand together, that we support the constitution, and that we tell Congress to do your job both Republicans and Democrats to make sure the Mueller Report is released to the public now," said DeLuca during his speech.