Peninsula groups hold political rally in Williamsburg

WAVY Photo/Brandi Cummings

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — Two local groups and residents gathered Monday to hold a rally against recent actions taken by the U.S. government.

The demonstration, hosted by Peninsula Indivisible and Middle Peninsula Progressives, was held in Williamsburg on Presidents Day — as many “Not My President’s Day” events were scheduled nationwide to protest President Donald Trump.

A news release for the event stated that rally was being held to “highlight social and political issues that impact Hampton Roads.”

The groups also planned to socialite support for action items against “current governmental actions” that the groups say are dangerous to democracy.

Monday’s event was slated to include speakers including Virginia Lt. Gov. candidate Susan Platt, Marklyn Louis with Planned Parenthood and representatives with James City County Democrats.

More than 200 people attended the rally.

“I want busy people to realize they have time to get involved,” said organizer and member of Peninsula Indivisible Josie Soltys. “The current administration really stands for the opposite of everything that I do. As far as civil rights, immigration, refugees absolutely the opposite of everything I feel about everything.”

The group’s goal was to present unified resistance to efforts of the Trump Administration they think will only further divide and endanger the nation.

Soltys said Peninsula Indivisible has only been organized one month. They planned the rally in a week and a half.

“It’s just so overwhelming that this many people would show up with nine days of organizing. Imagine what we could do if we had a couple months to organize something. It could be huge,” she said.

Attendees were able to sign petitions to get state candidates on the ballot and even fill out post cards to send to the White House.

Susan Thames attended the rally with her 10-year-old daughter Kaylee.

“It’s important for me to, right now, while she’s interested, to get her involved, to have her see how democracy really works so that when she grows up, she will also be an informed voter,” Thames said.

Thames explained the rally gave her the sense of being a part of a larger movement.

“In the past, I felt like being informed and voting was enough and it’s obviously not enough any longer,” she said.

Monday’s rallies come after the rally President Trump held over the weekend in Florida. Trump spoke to thousands of people revisiting his campaign promises and updating supporters on the progress he’s made after just four weeks in office.