‘Impeachment rally’ held in downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The day before the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on impeaching President Donald Trump, more than 100 protesters gathered in Grand Rapids to encourage lawmakers to remove him from office.

The gathering was held at Veterans Memorial Park near Fulton Street and Division Avenue downtown.

“The president is not king,” organizer Lily Schulting told News 8 at the protest.

Protesters held signs denouncing Trump for various reasons. Some mentioned the president’s much-criticized conversation with the president of Ukraine. Other signs mentioned his relationship with Russia.

Protesters gathered for an “impeachment rally” in Grand Rapids. (Dec. 17, 2019)
Protesters gathered for an “impeachment rally” in Grand Rapids. (Dec. 17, 2019)

Andy Higgins, from Grand Rapids, brought his 3-year-old daughter to the event.

“I want her future to be good,” he said, carrying his daughter on his shoulders. “Her future cannot be good if you have a criminal as a president.”

There was a Trump supporter in the crowd staging an apparent one-man counter-protest.

“He’s better than any of the alternatives,” Aaron Schutte told News 8 as he held a sign in support of the president. “Joe Biden, Warren, a lot of those guys have pretty bad skeletons in their closets.”

Some protesters confronted him and challenged his position once they realized he wasn’t there to push for impeachment.

While the house is expected to vote to impeach the president, the effort to remove him from office is virtually certain to fail once it is in the hands of the republican-controlled U.S. Senate.

Protesters said the impeachment proceedings are important anyway.

Protesters gathered for an “impeachment rally” in Grand Rapids. (Dec. 17, 2019)

“It has to be done,” George Bartnick said at the rally. “If you don’t do it, it sends a message going forward that this is okay.”

The impeachment rally was held in below-freezing temperatures and lasted for a few hours.

The rally also happened to take place a day before Trump is slated to visit West Michigan for a campaign rally in Battle Creek.

Protest organizers say they hope the president feels their sentiment.

“My message to the president is resign or be impeached and hopefully removed,” Nikki Trim told News 8.

Impeachment rallies were held around the country on the eve of the expected impeachment vote. In addition to a gathering in Kalamazoo, rallies were held in New York and Miami among other places.