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In Massachusetts, Protesters Use Presidents’ Day To Oppose Trump’s Emergency Declaration

Opponents of President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to fund a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border held protests across the country on Monday. In Massachusetts, protesters rallied in Boston, Springfield, and Northampton.

About 150 people, including state legislators, local politicians and community activists, gathered in front of Northampton City Hall in the snow to show support for immigration initiatives.

Larry McAndrew is a retired mail carrier from Westfield. For him, the event was more about asserting constitutional rights than achieving a specific goal.

“It's like flexing a muscle. If you don't do it, then when it comes time for something that really is going to happen, you're not ready for it,” McAndrew said.

State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, whose district includes Northampton, told the crowd she has a different take on a current state of emergency.

“I have to say that this national emergency is a national emergency. The national emergency is that the president of the United States decided that he could actually go into our democracy, and take away power from Congress for a military use,” Sabadosa said.

Sabadosa and other speakers also stated support for immigration initiatives like de-funding ICE, and allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses. 

Massachusetts and Rhode Island are not among the 16 states filing suit against President Trump's declaration of a national emergency to fund a border wall.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative: Eight public media companies, including The Public's Radio, coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Northampton City Hall and Main Street, Northampton, MA
Northampton City Hall and Main Street, Northampton, MA