Closings and delays

‘March for Truth’ protests draw thousands of Americans to the streets

This time it was a “March for Truth.”

Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday from New York to San Diego, calling for an impartial investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties with members of the Trump campaign.

The march was the latest in a series of national protests — from support for women’s rights to opposition to new immigration policies — since the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January.

“We recognize that protest is the new brunch,” quipped Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, who joined several hundred protesters near the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital.

Kate Handley, a resident of Chesapeake, Virginia, also attended the DC protest, saying that as a military veteran she was frustrated with Trump’s “selling out the United States.”

“I served in the US Navy for 22 years to defend the Constitution, not Donald Trump’s financial interests,” she said.

In Philadelphia, an estimated 300 people participated for about an hour in a march and rally that ended at the city’s Washington Monument Fountain, according to Maureen Iannuzzi, an organizer of the event.

“The mood from the crowd is energized and empowered,” Iannuzzi said.

Eileen Hill, a New Jersey resident who attended the Philadelphia march, said: “I’m concerned for the future of democracy in the United States… The ‘March for Truth’ is to tell them we know what truth is from lying.”

In response to the anti-Trump marches, supporters of the President held a counter “Pittsburgh Not Paris” rally in Lafayette Square in Washington.

The rally’s name was a reference to Trump’s remarks this week announcing his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said Thursday at the White House.

“We have your back!” the Trump supporters chanted Saturday.

“When he mentioned Pittsburgh, it touched my heart,” Vincent Fusca said of Trump’s use of Fusca’s hometown.

Recalling the area’s once thriving steel and industrial history, Fusca added, “I know it’s hard to bring jobs back, but if you bring a little bit back, it’s better than nothing. It’s putting people to work in Pittsburgh.”

Christi Branch, a resident of Waynesboro, Virginia, said she drove three hours to Washington to support the President.

“I thought it was quite clever and, in the end, I respect a man of his word,” she said of Trump and his “Pittsburgh not Paris” remarks.

“‘America first’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ is exactly what he campaigned on. He’s a man of his word and I respect that.”

The “March for Truth” protests focused on allegations that Russia meddled in the US presidential election.

The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials in the election. Both the House and Senate also are looking into whether there were improper contacts between those in the Trump orbit and Russia.

In New York on Saturday, Jake Rowland, 46, held a sign with an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin wearing a red Trump campaign “Make America Great Again” cap.

“It’s important for everyone to get out in the street and stand against the lies. … Every time another lie comes out, we have to call him on it,” Rowland said of the president.

Anne Bedrick of New Rochelle, New York, carried an upside down American flag, which she said symbolized “a country in distress.”

“I’m really disgusted with the way our administration is behaving,” Bedrick said. “I really want them to be accountable for their behaviors. Everything, from the environment to immigration, to women’s rights and health care. I can’t believe that this is what America has become.”