People stood on either side of Churchville Road, near U.S. Rep. Andy Harris’ district office in Bel Air, Tuesday evening, holding signs, chanting and singing, calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
The protest had a holiday theme, with the singing of impeachment-themed Christmas carols, and a group of protesters holding large letters bearing lights to form the word “impeach.”
The demonstration was one of several occurring nationwide Tuesday, the night before the House of Representatives voted on articles of impeachment, organized online by “The Nobody is Above the Law” network through the website impeach.org. In addition to Bel Air, events supporting the impeachment of President Trump were being held Tuesday in Baltimore, Annapolis, Catonsville and Columbia, among other locations in Maryland.
On Wednesday night, the House voted among party lines to impeach Trump over a charge that the president abused the power of his office by enlisting a foreign government to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election. The House then approved a second charge, that he obstructed Congress in its investigation.
DeLane Lewis, founder of the community group Together We Will-Harford County/Upper Chesapeake, said about 150 people attended the protest. Her organization has worked with other community groups to coordinate multiple protests across the street from Harris’ office in recent years.
She coordinated the impeachment protest as an individual, however, and many people not affiliated with Together We Will attended, Lewis said via text message Wednesday.
Many drivers honked their horns in support of the group gathered in the cold Tuesday evening, and protesters cheered in response. Some drivers expressed their opposition, though; one man shouted, “Trump, Trump Trump!” and another shouted, “Trump 2020!” Still other drivers of large pickups gunned their engines as they headed past the group.
A handful of people spoke to the crowd, urging people to keep up the pressure on members of Congress to impeach Trump and remove him from office.
Pam Dehmer, a Bel Air resident and member of Together We Will, said Trump “abused his power of the office” by putting pressure on Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of the president’s rivals in the 2020 election.
One person called out, “lock him up,” referring to Trump.
"This is not OK, this is not normal,” Dehmer said of Trump’s actions. “Call your Congress members, make sure they vote for impeachment.”
Rita Hewitt, of Belcamp, also said Trump has abused his power and stressed that “our democracy, our Constitution is at stake.” The Army veteran said she took an oath to “protect and defend” the Constitution when she joined the service.
“I stand with those brave men and women who are going to vote tomorrow,” Hewitt said of the members of the House of Representatives scheduled to debate and vote on articles of impeachment Wednesday.
Trump, a Republican, would be tried in the majority-Republican Senate, should the full House vote to impeach him. The House is majority Democrat.
Havre de Grace resident Kathleen Mader led protesters in a chant, calling for former National Security Adviser John Bolton, current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, to appear as witnesses in a Senate trial.
Senate Democrats have called for such members of the Trump Administration to testify.
“We need to call [all of the] senators and not let them just brush this under the carpet,” Mader said.
Hewitt and Mader also are members of Together We Will, and Hewitt is a member of the Racial Justice Action Group.
Mader described Together We Will as “a group that gives you hope, even when surrounded by people in MAGA hats.” She referred to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA. Many Trump supporters wear red baseball caps, emblazoned with the slogan, to show their enthusiasm for the president.
Trump won Harford County with 58.2 percent of the local vote in the 2016 presidential election, and “Trump 2020” campaign signs can be seen scattered throughout Harford.
Harris, a Republican who represents Maryland’s First District in Congress, has said in previous statements that he does not support impeachment, calling the process a “partisan stunt” and a “sham."
He will host a town hall meeting in Baltimore County Friday evening; the event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, 11601 Bellvue Ave., according to a news release from Harris’ office.
Lewis thanked people for coming out on a cold night, and she encouraged them to attend the town hall Friday with their protest signs.
“Do not give up,” she told the crowd. “Call your representatives, call your senators, and we the people will take back our country.”