Video Filmed and Edited by Ford Fischer
Article and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez
With 36 days left until Trump’s inauguration, millennial voices have an urgent demand for electors: delay the vote, or dump Trump.
“We cannot sit back in this moment, we need all Americans to rise up, to be angry, and to demand a delay of the Electoral College vote. And if the vote can’t be delayed, we demand that the electors defend democracy and not vote for Trump.”
That was Claire Wyatt, one of several young activists with grassroots millennial group “#AllofUs,” who led a march on Wednesday evening calling for members of the Electoral College to heed calls for more details on Russia’s role in the election.
Wyatt and others led a small group numbering about 25 from the National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. Their message: delay the Electoral College vote until an investigation can get the full picture on Russian intervention. If they can’t defer the vote, it’s in the best interest of the country for the electors to drop Trump.
“This is quite disheartening,” protester Eric Jones told those gathered with banners and posters reading “defend democracy” and “delay the vote” outside the Archives building. “But what is even more problematic is that their intent was to assist Donald Trump with hijacking the most influential position in the world.”
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It’s important to stress that Russian meddling in the election isn’t yet confirmed. Recounts crowdfunded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein have failed to turn up anything substantial in Wisconsin and Michigan. Still, a report from intelligence officials suggests an effort by the Kremlin to intervene on Trump’s behalf with targeted leaks and propaganda.
Voices on both sides of the aisle argue the public deserves to know more.
“We can all agree that we smell smoke – we have been smelling smoke for quite some time now,” Jones said, on Russian interference. “Therefore, it is rational to conclude that there is a fire, and it is up to us to ring the alarm, put on our fire fighting gear, turn on a democratic hose, and put out the racism, sexism, and classism burning up our country.”
For Natalie Green, another young demonstrator, speaking out about the upcoming vote goes beyond the recent Russia controversy. For Green, a first-time organizer, Trump’s post-campaign rhetoric and his soon-to-be inner circle raise enough alarms by themselves.
“For weeks, we’ve been told to just wait and see – ‘maybe he’ll be a little better than you think’ – but the past month has shown us we know exactly what to expect: that everything Trump said in his campaign, he wants to act on,” Green said.
As it stands, Trump is set to carry 306 electors to Clinton’s 232. 36 of Trump’s voters would need to defect to swing the election to the House – by many accounts, a longshot. Despite the outcome, protesters are vowing to remain defiant against Trump’s platform.
“Even if the vote continues, we will still show up because Donald Trump represents everything that is wrong with this country,” Green said. “He’s a racist, sexist billionaire, and we will continue to fight him no matter what happens on Monday.”
The Electoral College is currently set to formally elect the next President of the United States this Monday.