Protesters On Both Sides Of Impeachment Divide Clash In Grand Junction

Stina Sieg/CPR News
Protesters arguing for and against impeaching president Donald Trump clash in Grand Junction, Dec 17, 2019.

A a pro-impeachment rally in Grand Junction was met by a large group of counter-protesters Tuesday night. At the event’s height, about 100 people collected on the steps of a federal building downtown and spilled into the sidewalk, as police blocked off the street.

At one point, some of those who came to defend the president started to yell “Babies’ lives matter!” The chant eventually evolved into “Don’t kill babies! Kill yourselves!” as they faced off against impeachment supporters.

The raucous Grand Junction demonstration was one of hundreds of taking place across the country on the eve of the House’s historic impeachment vote, part of a national “Nobody is Above the Law” rally organized by left-leaning groups. In Denver, hundreds gathered on the steps of the state capital.

Delores Chaney, who supports impeachment, said she had to show up to have her “voice be heard” as an African American woman. She talked about being deeply troubled by the White House not cooperating with the impeachment inquiry.

“He needs to be impeached before something else happens,” she said, of the allegations that Trump asked the Ukranian president to investigate the son of political rival Joe Biden. 

Like many on both sides of the rally, Chaney’s feelings about the president go far beyond the immediate impeachment debate. She talked about how tariffs have made it harder for her to get by and how embarrassed she is by how Trump conducts himself.

“For that man to represent me, I am appalled,” she said, pausing for emphasis. “Appalled.”

As the protest wore on, more counter-protesters showed up. Doug Thompson with the Mesa County Republican Party helped mobilize the effort “because I felt we should support our president.”

“Unequivocally, he will go down in American history as having done more for our country than any other president had,” he said. 

Thompson added that he’s troubled by current-day Democrats.

“They ought to refer to themselves as Nazis or something like that,” he said, adding, “they’re just so hateful, and they just take it out on the President.”

When asked if he thought the rift between liberal and conservative voters can be mended — in Grand Junction or anywhere else — Thompson said it would likely be up to the “other side.” 

The US House plans to vote on the two articles of impeachment Wednesday. The Colorado delegation is expected to split along party lines.