Vicki Mills said she has no choice but to support impeachment of President Donald Trump. The Broward resident lived in Hungary for nine years, when Prime Minister and anti-immigrant strongman Viktor Orban was often accused of subverting democracy, nepotism and cronyism. Now she feels that same authoritarian takeover is occurring in the United States with Trump, who she said has undermined democracy.
“Trump says there’s a cabal against him but it’s just the opposite,” Mills says. “He’s literally thumbing his nose at our constitution, putting the U.S.’s security in jeopardy. The people [in Hungary] protested to no avail and the leader there, in two and a half years, changed the constitution. Now they have a dictatorship. I’ve seen it happen, I know how easily we can lose our democracy.”
Mills was one of scores of protesters who took to the intersection in front of the Trump National Doral on Dec. 17 as part of more than 600 protests happening nationwide in support of Trump’s impeachment.
Move On, a national activist group, organized “Nobody Is Above the Law” protests to take place the day before the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on impeaching Trump. Protesters from across South Florida came to take a stand near the president’s property in Doral, one of his most high profile sites and also among those that have done most poorly during his presidency.
Many of the protesters present were grandparents who said they supported impeachment because they hoped to leave a better future for their grandchildren.
“When my grandchildren watch TV … they ask me, ‘Who is the liar: them or you?’ and that’s heartbreaking,” said activist Stephanie Rupp. “I’m doing this for them. This is their world to inherit, not mine.”
Across the street, Trump supporters chanted counter-protest slogans. One of them was Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the infamous Proud Boys, who the New York Times has called “far right extremists,” a claim they deny. Tarrio, who is running against Donna Shalala for Florida’s 27th Congressional District, led the group with a megaphone. He said he supports the protesters’ First Amendment rights, but believes the event is a “dog and pony show.”
“They’re using this as a referendum [to undo] the 2016 election,” Tarrio said. “First it was Russia, then we heard the scandals and now we’re hearing Ukraine. People that are out here are uninformed and they’re a little annoying with the whistles.”
More protests will occur after the House’s vote on impeachment, one of them scheduled for Dec. 19 in front of Senator Marco Rubio’s Miami office.