Organizers hope momentum from the Women’s March will inspire a big turnout for the Tuesday protests.
After the success of the worldwide Women’s Marches this weekend, activists are planning another wave of demonstrations against President Donald Trump. Protesters across the country are expected to gather at the state offices of their members of Congress on Tuesday in an effort to stop the Senate from confirming several of Trump’s Cabinet picks.
More than 100 “Stop Trump’s #SwampCabinet” demonstrations are planned in at least 35 states and will target dozens of senators and representatives, both Democratic and Republican. (The complete list of events can be found here.)
The nationwide protest is being led by liberal activist organization MoveOn.org, progressive grassroots advocacy group People’s Action and the Working Families Party.
“People’s lives are on the line,” said Victoria Kaplan, organizing director for MoveOn. “It’s our responsibility as participants in our democracy to make sure that our senators understand their constituents expect them to do everything in their power to stop this swamp Cabinet that Trump has put forward.”
Kaplan expects several thousand people to participate in Tuesday’s events, and encouraged activists to lead rallies in cities that don’t yet have any scheduled.
The rallies aim to undermine the “most egregious and dangerous” Cabinet appointments, Kaplan said ― such as billionaire philanthropist Betsy DeVos as secretary of education, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of health and human services and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general ― by pressuring lawmakers to delay or stop their confirmations.
“You can’t play footsie with the KKK and expect to be attorney general of the United States,” Kaplan said about Sessions, whose former assistant once accused him of describing the white supremacist group as “OK until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”
Many of Trump’s Cabinet picks have come under intense scrutiny from Democrats and even some Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) renewed his calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an investigation into Price’s potentially illegal stock purchases. A spokesman for Trump’s former transition team said last week that Price, a staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act, “had no knowledge” of the investments.
DeVos, who would lead U.S. public schools if confirmed, has been called “the most anti-public education nominee in the history of the department” by the president of the American Federation of Teachers. Her lack of experience was the subject of sharp criticism from members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions during her confirmation hearing last week.
“Democrats in the Senate have the power to slow, delay, stop these Cabinet picks,” Kaplan said. “And we expect them to use every tool in their toolbox to do so.”
At some of Tuesday’s events, speakers will address the crowd before groups of demonstrators attempt to speak directly with members of Congress or their office staff to voice their opposition to Trump’s nominees, Kaplan said. The actual schedule of events may vary from rally to rally.
Organizers hope to build on momentum created from Saturday’s Women’s March protests.
“If every person who marched [in the Women’s March] were to visit their Congress member’s office one time this week ― on their way to work or after school ― we would be unstoppable,” Kaplan said, noting that those who can’t attend the Tuesday protests in person can reach out to their members of Congress at any time.
Several confirmation votes and hearings are scheduled for this week, including a decision Monday on former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and decisions Tuesday on former neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development and Sessions as attorney general.
Secretary of Defense Gen. James Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Gen. John Kelly became the first two of Trump’s Cabinet members to be confirmed following the Senate’s vote on Friday.