People For the American Way

Activists March to the Capitol to Demand Witnesses in Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial

People For in Action

On January 29, People For the American Way staffers joined hundreds of activists at the Hart Senate Office Building for a silent protest and march to the Capitol to demand that senators vote to include witnesses and documents as evidence in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

Activists gather in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on January 29, 2020.
Activists gather in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on January 29, 2020.

The gathering started as a somber affair. Activists, many wearing black shirts with slogans including “Remove Trump” or “Trump Is Guilty,” slowly and silently mingled through the Hart Senate Office Building’s atrium, navigating around a large Alexander Calder sculpture. Capitol police looked on and warned activists (ourselves included) not to cause any trouble.

People traveled from as far as Arkansas, New York, and North Carolina to participate in the protest, organized by Center for Popular Democracy Action, Women’s March, and other progressive organizations, to make the case for witness testimony, specifically that of former national security adviser John Bolton on Trump’s withholding of Ukraine aid in the absence of a Biden investigation, as essential in a fair impeachment trial.

Activists march from the Hart Senate Office Building to the U.S. Capitol Building on January 29, 2020.
Activists march from the Hart Senate Office Building to the U.S. Capitol Building on January 29, 2020.

The crowd swelled as activists began their march on the Capitol. Carrying signs that read “Trump is not above the law” and “No witnesses? No evidence? No exoneration!” activists slowly traversed the quarter-mile between the two buildings, chanting “We want witnesses! No more cover up!” as they marched. Upon reaching the Capitol Building, the crowd lowered their signs, stopped their chants, and approached the Capitol’s steps, where a line of law enforcement officers was waiting.

More than 40 activists were arrested after being warned that they were demonstrating without a permit and were not allowed to be on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Activists stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020.
Activists stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in an act of civil disobedience on January 29, 2020.

Senators will vote on whether or not to call witnesses as part of the impeachment trial tomorrow.