Hundreds of protests are expected across the country today in an effort to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election.
The demonstrations were launched nationwide in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation at the request of President Donald Trump, who replaced him with Sessions’ chief of staff Matt Whitaker, who has a history of being critical of the investigation.
In an effort to keep the investigation independent, demonstrators around the country began protesting Thursday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. local time.
The organization behind the protests, MoveOn, made a quick call to action using the banner “Nobody is above the law — Mueller protection rapid response.”
Though the call-to-action was quick, the organization had been building an arsenal of demonstrators for the possibility of Trump ending the investigation for a year. According to its website, their rapid-response network includes more than 350,000 participants and more than 900 events.
A progressive organization that focuses on social justice and equality, MoveOn acts as a mobilization tool for a number of efforts, including supporting candidates and passing legislation through campaigns on its website, moveon.org.
The idea for the organization began with an online petition about the Clinton impeachment in 1998 and MoveOn has been running campaigns for the past 20 years. Campaign efforts include ending the Iraq war and combatting gun violence by ending politicians’ affiliation with the NRA, but since 2016 the organization says it has been “a pillar of the Resistance to Trump.”
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) November 8, 2018
The events MoveOn planned for Thursday are meant to “demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice.”
Following the callout, demonstrators responded and showed their support on social media. The hashtag #protectmueller had been used over 150,000 times on Twitter, with demonstrators on the East Coast tweeting photos of various events.
Cleveland. Boston. Baltimore. NYC. Washington, DC. Omaha. Philadelphia. These crowds are massive EVERYWHERE.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) November 8, 2018
I was in White Plains, NY to protest Trump and his appointments that could harm the Mueller investigation. A lot of great Americans were there with me and some NY assembly members. We are protectors of democracy. #ProtectMueller pic.twitter.com/Ri5BDQHLOG
— Operation Protect Mueller (@charlie13albert) November 8, 2018
MoveOn is also heading a petition asking legislatures to protect the investigation, which had reached more than 475,000 signatures as of Thursday evening.