Approximately 60 Rhode Islanders braved inclement weather Monday to personally deliver a petition to senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse imploring them to resist hate and oppose President-elect Donald Trump.
“We’re hoping the senator will stand up and be a fierce opponent to the Trump agenda,” Georgia Hollister Isman told George Carvalho, a staffer for Senator Whitehouse, as the large group crammed into a hallway outside Whitehouse’s office in downtown Providence. “We’re looking forward to seeing him do that and we want him to know we will have his back when he does.”
Carvalho replied that Whitehouse, who is leading an effort among congressional Democrats to oppose Trump, is looking forward to meeting with members of the Resist Hate RI group.
The petition drive was organized by the new grassroots group Resist Hate RI that formed after Trump surprisingly won the presidency after campaigning on fascist and xenophobic principles. Trump’s campaign seems to have emboldened racists across America.
It says, in part:
“Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, and we have every reason to believe his Administration will attempt to remake America as a less tolerant, a less equal, and a more dangerous place.
“We cannot let that happen. We call on you to be leaders at the federal level in resisting the Trump-Pence agenda.
“Rhode Islanders—and legislators in less-blue regions of the country—are counting on you. Be fierce in your opposition to any and all proposals that will divide, attack, or endanger our communities and our most vulnerable.”
“We’re not looking for you to build bridges or make compromises with the Trump-Pence Administration. We’re looking for action,” it says. “Republicans have proudly fought Obama for every inch over the last 8 years, and have prevented many good things from happening. Now we need you to be the ones to stand up and say ‘No!’ to the dangerous policies of Donald Trump and his allies, and not give up an inch.”
The group visited Senator Reed’s office, too, but wasn’t allowed upstairs. Reed’s office is in a building with other federal offices that has high security; backpacks and cameras are not allowed upstairs. It was also delivered to representatives David Cicilline’s and Jim Langevin’s offices but not by the entire group.
UPDATE: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sent this statement to RI Future about the petition effort:
“Getting organized and involved in the political process is more important than ever, and I thank everyone who signed this petition. I’m listening closely to what Rhode Islanders have to say during this transition. The day after the election, I pledged to do everything in my power to protect the dignity of all people in a Trump presidency, and that commitment will guide my work in the months and years ahead.”