In order to voice her support for impeaching President Donald Trump, Diane Garrison walked two miles up the road from her Columbia home in the rain on Tuesday. She didn’t have a car for the night so she used the next best option: her feet.
Garrison joined more than 200 people who gathered for an impeachment rally at the intersection of Broken Land and Little Patuxent parkways outside The Mall in Columbia.
The demonstration, locally organized by Howard County Indivisible, was part of a greater effort across the country Tuesday to show support for removing Trump from office, held the night before the House of Representatives was expected to vote on articles of impeachment.
Cheryl Ludwig, one of the organizers of the event, said she has supported impeachment for a couple of months.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind that we need to have rallies,” she said. “This [rally] lets everyone know that we are a community, we support each other and it bonds us together as people who support democracy.”
The group of protesters in Columbia switched among a variety of chants including “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go” and “We will, we will lock you up.” Many of the signs read, “Honk if you support impeachment.”
“The horn honks are so important,” Ludwig said during her announcement to the protesters. “This is what makes America special.”
Pete Doob, of Columbia, lived in Washington, D.C., during the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
“I remember back during the Nixon hearings for impeachment that folks were asking honk for impeachment at the side of the road across from the White House,” he said. “I was living in D.C. I was standing at the side of the road with a bullhorn.”
Forty-five years later, Doob was out in Columbia in a neon yellow jumpsuit, visible from any part of the intersection, chanting with his bullhorn.
”I’m back here with my wife and we chanted, ‘Honk for impeachment tomorrow may be too late.’ Cars and trucks and buses honked a whole lot,” he said.
Tara Carey said she brought her children, ages 7 and 10, to the rally because she wanted to model civic engagement.
“I’m a home-schooling parent. I talk a lot about how government works and how it should work for the people,” she said. “My husband and I are very dissatisfied with the state of our government and the current occupant of the Oval Office. It was important to us that we show in every way possible to participate in the process.”
Carey said she talks about civic engagement with her children two-fold: how government is structured and how it should function.
“I’ve inspired them to want to be involved and knowledgeable about the process,” Carey said. “It matters who we elect into government office, right? It impacts us tangibly.”
Marti Wade, of Ellicott City, said she hoped cars driving by would see the signs and call their representatives.
“I’m here because Donald Trump broke his oath of office and he doesn’t uphold the Constitution,” Wade said. “He’s a danger to democracy, and the next election can’t guarantee to be fair if he is still in office.”