AUGUSTA — An eagle soared over the State House as more than 200 people gathered below to show opposition Monday to President Trump and his administration.

“The bald eagle is a symbol of America and our democracy, just like exercising our right to peacefully protest,” said Stephanie Thompson, who came from Portland with her daughter Madison. “It’s important to continue to get out there and show that this president doesn’t represent all of America.”

The people rallying in opposition to Trump spent about an hour chanting statements such as “We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter,” and holding up colorful signs bearing the words “Impeach Trump,” “Not Our President” and “Immigrants are Welcome Here.”

The Not My Presidents Day rally was organized via Facebook by an 18-year-old transgender male who held a “Trans Lives Matter” sign.

“I wanted to show Maine and the rest of the country that (Trump) doesn’t represent what we stand for,” said Jazpyer Harrington of Boothbay. “As a transgender man, I’d like to pee in the bathroom without any hassle, and he has revoked that for a lot of people.”

Nancy Daly, who traveled to Augusta from Ellsworth, held a sign with a picture of Trump that asked, “Does this ass make my country look small?” She said she wanted to be a part of the rally because people need to stand up to Trump and his administration.


“It’s absolute insanity,” Daly said. “He just thinks he lives in this bubble, but there are other people in this world besides him.”

Her biggest problem with the Trump administration so far is its plan to move forward with the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, which would stretch more than 1,100 miles from North Dakota to Illinois.

“We’ve done enough (to the Native Americans) to continue plowing through their territory with disregard to the environment,” Daly said. “I think Trump is just a puppet for (chief strategist) Steve Bannon, and it’s terrifying.”

Daly thinks all the protests, marches and movements from the Women’s March on Maine to the gatherings opposing Trump’s controversial travel ban are working on some levels, and she thinks Trump can’t handle all the criticism.

“I think the stress and the constant criticism is going to put an end to him, and I don’t think he’s going to last four years,” she said. “I’ll be surprised if he sees one full year.”

While Daly doesn’t think Trump will make it to 2018 as president, Thom Marshall said the things Trump says and the decisions he makes will have an impact long after his presidency is over.


“We are a nation of immigrants, and to think that a U.S. president would essentially ban immigration from a specific part of the world is unfathomable,” Marshall said. “These are the types of decisions that send ripples around the world and have consequences that can last for generations.”

Jodi Bolduc of Livermore was with her two teenage daughters. She said she’s alternately enraged and saddened because this isn’t the America she wants for her children.

“It’s awful and bizarre that despite history, we are repeating things that happened two generations ago,” she said. “What’s more bizarre is that people who are rabid Trump supporters refuse to see these parallels that are becoming clearer and clearer every day.”

She said while America has had bad presidents, she thinks Trump is different because she sees him as a bad person. She said he’s also surrounding himself with people who are not just different politically, but also morally reprehensible.

Chris Kenoyer of Alna took it a bit further by asserting that Trump is mentally ill. He said he had expectations for what a Trump presidency would look like, but he never expected this.

“I was gravely worried and had real concerns about him and who he’s always been, but now that he’s (president), he’s exceeded my worst expectations,” Kenoyer said. “He’s leaving a lot of work to Bannon and a lot of other people I consider off the rails.”


It’s popular to be anti-politician, Kenoyer said, but what people forget are all the skills associated with being in public office, such as diplomacy, how to interact with foreign leaders and being a good listener and uniter.

As the rally continued, people sang “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” while urging one another to attend future gatherings to continue the resistance movement.

James Cook, a professor of social science at the University of Maine at Augusta, stood up on a bench to invite people to call Maine’s elected officials and said he was taking a group of people to the Augusta office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“People simply being upset isn’t enough to lead to social movements like this,” Cook said. “What really works is building social networks, patterns of relationships and one-on-one connections.”

Cook said he attended the rally because he hears “a whole lot of language from our president about us and them.” He said that means there is a small group people can rely on and everyone else is untrustworthy or the enemy.

“My worry as a sociologist and a citizen is that if we take the idea of America and go backward from one splintered into many, that’s the way that we start wars with other countries and how we start civil wars,” Cook said. “I don’t want to see us end up back there.”

Jason Pafundi can be contacted at 621-5663 or at:

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