KAPAA — Protesters took to the streets across the nation, including in Kapaa, to denounce President Donald Trump’s intentions to build a wall between Mexico and the United States after he declared security along the 1,954-mile border a national emergency last week.
The protest in front of the Kapaa library was organized by the Kauai Women’s Caucus. Roughly 35 people showed up, holding signs that ranged from, “Lock him up,” to “Build a wall around Trump.”
“It’s too much, it’s really too much,” Laurel Brier said, who helped co-organize the protest. “He’s out of control, he’s unhinged and it’s such a disservice to people, to our nation really. It’s really a step. If he can declare a national emergency for this, what’s next? I mean anything, he can do anything.”
The Kauai Women’s Caucus formed in 2017 and is bipartisan. They stand for economic, political, social and environmental injustices, according to Brier.
“I got a text from Democracy for America talking about the day of protest around the country,” co-organizer Elif Beal said of the protest on Presidents Day. “I think that the point was to do it as soon as possible after the announcement for the wall. I think a president should stand for the highest ideals and values of a country. I think that this act is a clear abuse of presidential power. It’s quite fitting to use the platform of Presidents Day to hold up the ideal that we want in our president and the standards that we want for our country.”
Robert Reitzner watched the protest over the handlebars of his bicycle.
“I come because Trump is getting more and more like a dictator and if people don’t stand up to him, eventually we could be in real big trouble,” he said. “Him trying to take over the democratic processes the way he is, it could just lead to more of the same until we don’t have a democracy left.”
Nationally organized by the group MoveOn and others, the Presidents Day demonstrations condemned Trump’s declaration as an undemocratic, anti-immigrant and nonexistent emergency.