‘You gotta speak up’

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    Katie Vercelli holds a sign with the word “Enough” during a Thursday rally near Lihue Airport. Protesters were calling for protection of Robert Mueller and the investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign prior to the 2016 election.

  • Bill Buley / The Garden Island

    David Lemon, center, hold a sign, “Stop Truth Decay,” to protest Thursday at the intersection of Ahukini Road and Kapule Highway against President Donald Trump’s recent actions.

LIHUE — The one word on a sign held by Katie Vercelli seemed to express what about 100 protesters were saying Thursday.


“We want to protect the Mueller investigation, want to resist intolerance, injustice, bigotry, prejudice and just celebrate the good things that we’re all here for,” said Vercelli, who was wearing a T-shirt with the word “Resist” joined by an image of the Statue of Liberty.

The Kapaa woman said what is needed is “positive human connection and to really help bring people together to resist this movement of hatred and intolerance and bring us back to our collective unity of this country.”

Liz Crites of Lihue said people have to take a stand.

“There has been so much corruption that the Republican Congress has not addressed, so I’m saying checks and balances isn’t working any more and I think the people need to speak up to save our democracy,” she said.

The Kauai protest at the intersection of Ahukini Road and Kapule Highway near Lihue Airport was one of many nationwide rallies calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election season.

The crowd of mostly middle-aged men and women was in good spirits during the rally that started at 5 p.m. and lasted about an hour. They whooped, yelled and waved when passing cars honked in support. Some held signs that said “Trump is not above the law,” “Fight Back,” and “Don’t Dismantle our Democracy.”

Protest organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a “deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation.”

Trump asked for Jeff Sessions’ resignation and then replaced him with Whitaker, his chief of staff. Whitaker has criticized Mueller’s probe.

Congressional Democrats have already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.

The call for the Kauai rally went out Wednesday night. It asked supporters to “take it to the streets to protect our Constitution.”

“We need to hit the streets and speak up to show Donald Trump that the power still lies with the American people,” according to an email.

David Lemon of Lihue said he is concerned about the breakdown in what constitutes facts and the rule of law.

“I think it’s really important to avoid what is starting to look like an authoritarian trend,” he said. “You gotta speak up.”

While he is worried about the direction of the country, Lemon said “I think we have a chance to make it right.”

Cynthia McClung of Kapaa said she was encouraged by Tuesday’s general election results that saw Democrats gain control of the U.S. House, and many minorities and women being elected to key posts.

“It was a shot in the arm. Folks are definitely sending a message that this is not OK,” she said.

But she remains concerned “about the possibility that our country is losing its democracy.

“It’s pretty clear that Trump is working very hard to undermine the processes that were put in place to make sure that we’re not being interfered with by a foreign influence,” McClung said.

Margie Merryman said she was fighting for democracy as she held a sign that read “Save Mueller.”

“I’m concerned that the president will try to get rid of Mueller and I think that it’s important to the American people to find out the truth of the investigation,” she said.

She remains worried about what she said was a rise in white nationalism across the country.

“This just has to stop,” Merryman said.

She said when people come together they can influence change.

“Hopefully the country can turn things around,” she added.


Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  1. George November 9, 2018 3:22 am Reply

    Dont worry guys. Gordo will come here to remind you of how stupid you are for questioning his hero.

  2. k669 November 9, 2018 4:04 am Reply

    Proverbs 14:15, the Simple Believe Anything!

  3. gordon oswald November 9, 2018 4:52 am Reply

    The idiots among us are out in force on Kauai. ENOUGH OF WHAT? Low unemployment, jobs everywhere, money flowing back into the United States, Trillions of dollars for middle America retirement accounts flooding back, lowered crime numbers, consumer confidence at historic highs, Unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics at the lowest rate IN HISTORY, unemployment for women at 60 year lows. JUST WHAT IS IT YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH OF AGAIN? All I see in this crowd are uninformed losers looking for a cause that makes them FEEEEEL BETTER. Pathetic.

    1. Debra Kekaualua November 9, 2018 10:34 am Reply

      Enough? yes! Everyone who supports this displaced american outpost should smell the Kaua’i Coffee, and wake up to the reality. We coming, holding truth and integrity close. There is no longer any room for ignorant u.s. citizen voters, fake media etc, who have become petrified that they no longer belong here and their investments are being claimed. Even Zuckerbergian tyrants and all that are supportive of the Ruse, do not have enough of anything to counter what IS truth and integrity. Sit on that and rotate awhile!

    2. Lawaibob November 9, 2018 10:36 am Reply

      Obama did a great job of stabilizing our economy, right? Trillions of retirement dollars? What are you smoking?

    3. Pete Antonson November 9, 2018 2:26 pm Reply

      For some, it’s all about the money. Money money money money! Forget about about fighting racism, sexism, bigotry, insisting that statements be true, demanding that leaders serve all; not just aging little, white boys who long for their imaginary Norman Rockwell America! Just SHOW ME THE MONEY!
      As for “Loser;” trump just won NBC’s Biggest Loser show by acclamation! To distract you from this, he shouted “Come over here Jeffey!” and “Book me a flight to France!” Now that’s what’s called pathetic!
      As for the statistical spin job, using “lowest ever” is clever; but, the actual differences between 2016 and 2018 are minuscule, unlike the added $10 Trillion in debt!

  4. David McDonald November 9, 2018 9:07 am Reply

    How about equal time for conservative viewpoints? Many of us feel the Mueller investigation has gone on far too long and consumed far too much money with absolutely no evidence of collusiion between Russia and the Trump administration. Our tax money could be better spent addressing our many real problems.

    1. Lawaibob November 9, 2018 10:42 am Reply

      You’re a fiscal conservative Trump supporter? That’s like saying you’re a red meat eating vegetarian

    2. Pete Antonson November 9, 2018 2:32 pm Reply

      OMG, David, how did you get to look at and evaluate Mueller’s investigation and evidence when nobody else has and only a handful of people, so far, have any knowledge of. Are you with the CIA or some dark secret spy agency, David?
      I appreciate your letting us all know these top secret facts; but, we’re curious as to how you found out.

  5. Keale November 9, 2018 9:35 am Reply

    Did these people see the fiasco their DEMOCRATS did at the Kavanaugh hearing?
    2 of the so called victims have recanted their stories. Hillary and Obama BENGHAZI cover up? Come on, enough is enough, yes, but it should be on both sides!

    1. Pete Antonson November 9, 2018 2:42 pm Reply

      I’m with ya Keale, an 18th House investigation would have popped that cover up wide open.
      BTW, only one victim testified against the Cervesaphile and she hasn’t recanted anything!

  6. doug henry November 9, 2018 1:22 pm Reply

    I think that if there was something to find, they would have found it by now. Time to move on. We need to address cyber attacks from Russia, etc.

  7. curious dog November 9, 2018 4:06 pm Reply

    Do not drink Trump’s Kool-aid or you will believe anything. If you rely on Fox News, you dance with the devil.

  8. Knowitall November 10, 2018 11:05 am Reply

    Look at the rich coastal elites. They came out of their nice gated Princeville neighborhoods and beg for open borders. They don’t care about illegals cause these people not going to be their neighbors, competing for their housing and jobs. Since when do rich white people have what’s good for local people on their agenda . . . I’ll wait

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.