Hundreds of people attended a Not My President rally against President Donald Trump on Monday at Mill Creek Park near the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
The rally took the occasion of President’s Day to stage a protest against Trump and many of his positions, and featured as guest speakers local activists, concerned citizens and a constitutional law professor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Several hundred people turned out, carrying colorful placards skewering Trump for his comments about Sweden, women and minorities.
As at other recent protests, the demonstrators brought a host of complaints about Trump and his positions on the environment, immigration, reproductive rights and refugees. Some complained of Trump’s ties to Russia and his appointment of extremely wealthy people to high positions.
“Just about everything Trump is proposing bothers me,” said 74-year-old Dixie Hicks, of Kansas City, North. “I’m worried about climate change. I’m worried about health care. I’m worried about inequality and Wall Street being unregulated again. I’m worried about world peace.”
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The event was organized by a local mother and daughter with a Facebook page.
Maggie Dowling Kortchmar of Kansas City said she had never organized a public rally before, but had worked on former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. She created the Facebook page “The People Vs. The President of the United States” about a month ago, and with the help of her daughter, Grace Kortchmar, used it to organize Monday’s event. The mother and daughter reached out to local activists and political organizers to spread the word.
“It didn’t really take that much effort,” Dowling Kortchmar said. “Because everyone is so motivated. It was a breeze.”
Activists from local groups like Indivisible KC urged residents to contact their senators and representatives two or three times a week to register their concern about the direction of Trump’s administration. They called on all eligible voters to register and prepare for the midterm elections in November 2018. Some speakers urged voters to direct their opposition also to their state’s Republican-controlled governor’s office and legislature.
Fatima Mohammadi, speaking on behalf of the Muslim Civic Initiative activist group, said everyone needs to stick up for Muslims and other minorities.
“Whatever happens to you, happens to us,” should be the prevailing attitude, she said. “Whatever happens to the Muslim community needs to be seen as an integral part of the American experience.”
Another guest speaker, UMKC law professor Edward Cantu, said he thought Trump was a threat to constitutional order but disagreed with the rally’s cry of “Not My President.”
“I do not accept that Donald Trump is not your president. He was elected,” Cantu said.
Cantu said that his own grandparents were illegal immigrants, and that he sympathized with the opposition against the new administration. But, he said, Trump was benefiting from an expansion of powers in the Oval Office that has been allowed for years by Democrats and Republicans alike.
“We need to care a little bit more about the stuff we learned in civics class,” he said.