Marchers demand transparency, investigation of Trump administration

  • left, Jay Thomas, Elizabeth Appelquist, Kate Pastrich-Klemer and Debby Pastrich-Klemer during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Jennifer Taub, of Northampton, speaks at the rally held at Pulaski Park during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Debby Pastrich-Klemer speaks at the rally held at Pulaski Park during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Marley Engvall, of Ashfield holds a Nanothermite? sign which caused a mild disturbance during the rally at Pulaski park after the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • John Bonifaz of Amherst speaks at the rally held at Pulaski Park during the March for Truth organized by Indivisible Noho Saturday morning. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Jo Comerford, of Northampton, speaks at the rally held at Pulaski Park during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Brian Adams talks about the reason he is march during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • left, Jay Thomas, Elizabeth Appelquist, Kate Pastrich-Klemer adn Debby Pastrich-Klemer during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Lorraine Switzer, of Springfield adnJennifer LaValley of Ct. during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Jane Rothchild of Southampton, during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Participants make their way towards Pulaski Park during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Kristin Thomas listens to speakers at Pulaski Park after the March for Truth organized by Indivisible Noho Saturday morning. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Participants listen to speakers at Pulaski Park after the March for Truth organized by Indivisible Noho Saturday morning. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Liz Powers, of Amherst during the march for Truth organized by Indivisible NOHO Saturday morning. —GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

For the Gazette
Published: 6/3/2017 5:27:49 PM

NORTHAMPTON — In the words of fictional news anchor Howard Beale, they were “mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore.”

Several hundred people marched Saturday afternoon to protest the misinformation, half-truths and flat-out lies that they said have characterized President Donald Trump’s administration.

The protesters marched from Bridge Street School, through downtown and past City Hall, ending at Pulaski Park, where local activists delivered passionate speeches to a cheering crowd.

Although the day started off with light rain, the crowd was not deterred — something that didn’t surprise March for Truth organizer Debby Pastrich-Klemer.

“Northampton people are pretty hardcore and pretty dedicated to doing something about Trump,” she said.

That seemed to be true, and not just for those who identify with the political left. Springfield native Kristin Thomas, whose sign proudly proclaimed her Republican Party membership, also demanded “Trump, show us your taxes; this is not a partisan issue.”

Thomas said she wants to counter the narrative she sees in the media that presents the resistance movement as a “fanatical liberal movement.”

“The resistance attracts people from all walks of life,” she said.

Background and goals

Pastrich-Klemer organized the demonstration in conjunction with her work as co-chair of Indivisible Noho, the Northampton chapter of the Indivisible organization.

The nationwide progressive advocacy group formed after the 2016 election in an effort to mobilize resistance against what it calls the sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic policies proposed by the Trump administration.

In a post on its website, indivisiblenoho.com, the group said the march sought four things: naming of a special prosecutor in the Trump administration investigation, release of Trump’s tax returns, prosecution of any crimes or collusion discovered, and as much transparency as possible.

“As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible,” the statement read.

On the March for Truth

Others had more varied goals.

Brian Adams, sporting a crocheted “pussy hat,” said that the Trump administration’s recent decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord was a big concern for him. Mostly, he said, he’s “appalled at just about everything.”

Many protesters interviewed, including Adams, said they have attended several anti-Trump protests since the president’s inauguration, including the Jan. 21 Women’s March, the April 15 Tax March and the April 29 Climate March.

“I want him impeached,” said Vicki Walker of the 45th president, vowing to continue protesting until Trump is removed from office.

In Pulaski Park, speakers and local organizers Jennifer Taub, John Bonifaz, Eesha Williams, Jo Comerford and Marty Nathan took the mic, calling for a bipartisan commission to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia, transparency in Trump’s tax returns, an end to voter suppression and more action taken regarding man-made global climate change.

Local chapters of Voter Choice Massachusetts and Represent.Us had tables at the park, where they handed out leaflets about ranked-choice voting and ending corporate influence in politics, respectively.

One protester, Agnes Kearon of Springfield, said demonstrations like the March For Truth are part of a long struggle. She said people need to keep up with resistance.

“Change doesn’t happen right away,” Kearon said. “You have to keep at it. That’s how democracy works.”


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