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Hundreds in Seattle, Olympia protest president’s emergency declaration

SEATTLE -- Hundreds of protesters gathered at Seattle’s Volunteer Park Monday evening, spending their President’s Day protesting the current commander in chief.  Demonstrators in attendance were making their voices heard against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on immigration at the southern border.

“It doesn’t seem like a real emergency,” said protester Charles Anstett. “It seems like a power grab to us.”

The event was organized by the public policy advocacy group and political action committee Moveon.org.

With music, signs, and candles in hand, protesters made their message to President Trump loud and clear.

“Until this land is your land and my land then we aren’t a united people and that seems to be a message that’s missing,” said Carla Rosebrook, a high school teacher who participated in the rally.

During the event Monday evening, Gov. Jay Inslee joined other local and state politicians at the podium like U.S. Rep.  Adam Smith, D-Washington.

“This is beyond just the emergency funding approach and the fact that the wall is the wrong approach,” said Representative Smith. “It’s an abuse of the executive power.”

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, another Washington Democrat, also took the podium, announcing to the crowd that she has co-written a resolution to stop President Trump’s emergency declaration.

“That resolution I believe will pass the house and will go to the Senate.” said Rep. Jayapal. “The Senate has to take that bill up and they will have to make a choice of whether they will stand up for the constitution or they stand up for a president who is violating the constitution."

Protests like the one in Seattle happened all across the country Monday including at the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia.

Demonstrators there called the emergency declaration undemocratic, racist, and unconstitutional.

Among the crowd in Olympia was Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Ferguson and his team have won 17 lawsuits against the Trump administration, but so far he has not decided whether to sue over the national emergency.

“The constitution lays out who controls the purse and that’s Congress,” Ferguson said. “He’s going to have a hard time and legal experts on both sides of the aisle agree on that point.”

Those attending the rally in Seattle say their hope is that their message is spread far beyond western Washington and not just on President's Day.

“When these kinds of things happen,” said protester Margo Heights. “We have to recognize the danger and pour into the streets and stop this before it’s too late.”

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