Florence locals protest Trump’s attorney general replacement

Protesters lined the sidewalk on North Seminary Street in downtown Florence Nov. 8 in opposition against President Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker to U.S. attorney general.

It did not take long for local activists to respond. Indivisible NW Alabama, Beyond The Women’s March and The Shoals Democratic Club came together to assemble a rally.

Marilyn Lee created the “Sessions Firing Rapid Response Rally” event on Facebook the night of Jeff Sessions’ resignation. She said they created the page, sent emails and started forming groups of people.

“The way I see it, this is a constitutional crisis,” Lee said. “Jeff Sessions has now been fired and the perfect replacement for him should be Rosenstein, but that is not who Trump has put in place. Who he has put in place is a shield for the White House.”

The page reminded those attending to abide by all laws regarding petition and assembly as well as law authorities.

“With President Donald Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, we are at a red line,” according to the Facebook page. “We must take to the streets in protest of any interference of the Mueller Investigation. This is now a constitutional crisis for our country. It demands an immediate and unequivocal response to show that we will not tolerate abuse of power from Donald Trump.”

The petitioners waved signs, American flags and even beat drums while  out chanting.

“Who’s above the law? No one,” protesters shouted. “Hey, hey, ho, ho 45 has got to go. This is what democracy looks like.”

Protesters marched up and down the sidewalk gaining attention from drivers passing by who would honked their horns and rolled down their car windows to give an occasional thumbs up.

Lee said at one point there were a little over 60 protesters participating.

“We’re out here saying we want our democracy back, we want to stop this man who thinks he is above the law,” Lee said.

After several requests from Trump, Sessions reigned Nov. 7. Trump announced in a tweet on the same day that Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff since October 2017, would take his place.