WASHINGTON - “We are not going to allow Donald Trump to bury the Statue of Liberty,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, said Saturday at a historic African American church in downtown Washington.
Van Hollen was speaking at one of dozens of rallies and protests held across the U.S. Saturday in the lead-up to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president.
The billionaire businessman was a polarizing figure on the campaign trail with his anti-immigrant comments, his pledges to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, and his promise to crack down on Muslims entering the country.
In Washington, the Reverend Al Sharpton led the “We Shall Not Be Moved” march.
“We come to say to the Democrats in the Senate and in the House and to the moderate Republicans to get some backbone, get some guts,” Sharpton said, in his appeal to politicians to stand up to Trump and not allow him and his fellow Republicans to initiate policies Trump’s opponents say will be detrimental to poor and working class people.
The crowd cheered at a rally in Chicago when Bassam Osman, chair and co-founder of The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago said in an opening prayer, “Lord, this land is your land, it is not Trump’s land.”
In Los Angeles, Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said, “We put the Trump administration on notice that we’re not going to sit idly by while he destroys our community.”
Watch: US Immigrants, Activists Protest Against Trump
After Trump’s inauguration Friday in Washington, up to 200,000 people from around the country are expected to attend the Women’s March Saturday to protest Trump’s presidency.
Since Trump’s stunning election win in November, protests against his presidency have been mounted regularly around the country.