SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — People of all ages came out to rally at the gazebo by the South Orange train station to make their voices heard locally on a national issue, THE national issue for the day: The impending impeachment vote in the House of Representatives.
Some 125-150 people came out last night, Dec. 17, to chant and sing and march and demand the impeachment of President Donald Trump, despite the freezing cold evening. A lone counter-protestor yelled at the crowd for about 10 minutes, spoke with the police away from the crowd, and left of his own accord.
The mood seemed alternately serious and jovial. Organizers from SOMA Action spoke and led chants and songs. One song was a “Jingle Bell Rock” parody, which ended with “Don’t give up, protestors, pick up your feet, march until it stops; we know how to do this, let get Devin Nunes; stop the Vladimir, stop the Vladimir, stop the Manafort, stop the Trumpian plot.”
As Robin Isserles was asked why she came to the protest, someone close by yelled to the marching crowd, “Tell me what democracy looks like!” And the West Orange resident chuckled and answered the call and the question simultaneously with, “This is what democracy looks like!” She added, “I’ve been an activist a very long time. It’s hard to watch a democracy crumbling,” and so she felt the need to march. The local march joined hundreds across the country; 584 rallies for Dec. 17 were listed on impeach.org alone.
Leslie Shapiro of Short Hills came to the rally because, as she said, “faith without action is nothing. I rant and rave and talk, but it doesn’t mean anything if I don’t do anything. My kids see me come out, and it’s a great example for them,” said the mom of three teens.
Edie Brown of Orange was marching while broadcasting via Facebook live. She was glad to join the march on the fly after getting a drink to go locally. “Enough is enough,” she said. “What’s going to happen in the future? Anybody can come in and think they’re above the law.”
Sarah McNamara and Carrie Midland, both of Maplewood, “I feel like we should be in the streets every single day, with all the ways our democracy is being undermined… It’s important to be out and visible,” said McNamara.
Midland added she couldn’t be complacent. “This isn’t the country we want, and this isn’t the country that frankly we voted for.”
South Orange Village Trustee Bob Zuckerman was carrying a sign that read “RULE OF LAW.” “I picked this poster because this is what it’s all about,” he said.