At President's Day Rally, Boiseans Turn Out to Protest Trump Emergency Declaration, Border Wall 

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Harrison Berry

Boise City Council Member Lisa Sanchez was a student at Boise State University when then-President Ronald Reagan delivered his now-famous speech in Berlin about tearing down the wall that separated the German capital.

"I didn't expect our country to be talking about building a wall, and we're doing it right now," she said at a President's Day rally Feb. 18 on the Idaho Statehouse steps, which was organized to protest President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency and plan to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

click to enlarge - Boise City Council Member Lisa Sanchez spoke at a President's Day rally against President Donald Trump's declaration of a national state of emergency. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Boise City Council Member Lisa Sanchez spoke at a President's Day rally against President Donald Trump's declaration of a national state of emergency.
Trump declared the state of emergency on Feb. 15, citing concerns over illegal immigration, gang activity and drug trafficking. The move would allow him to take executive action over certain aspects of the immigration system, but would also enable him to construct a border wall that has been a sticking point between his administration and Congress.

His declaration was especially unpopular with the approximately 150 demonstrators who assembled at the Idaho State Capitol—one of 245 rallies taking place simultaneously in 40 other states. One of the demonstrators, Tim Teater, stood with a sign that read, "The wall is Trump's Reichstag Fire. Stop Trump No Fascists," a reference to the 1933 destruction of the German parliamentary building that was a pivotal moment in the rise of Nazi power in Germany.

click to enlarge - Tim Teater brought a sign to the rally comparing a border wall with the Reichstag Fire. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Tim Teater brought a sign to the rally comparing a border wall with the Reichstag Fire.
"[Adolf Hitler] used that as his excuse to implement his fascist agenda. Trump is using this as his excuse to implement his authoritarian agenda," he said.

For several weeks in late December and early January, Trump and Congress sparred over funding for a border wall, shutting down the federal government. In that time, hundreds of thousands of federal employees went without pay. Many at the rally said they believed money that would go toward a border wall would be better spent on other projects.

"There's a lot more we could be doing with our country, with our tax dollars. A lot of roads need attention, bridges. We could use a lot more workers," said demonstrator Tom Neale. "There are so many other emergencies. It seems odd to me that the President can declare an emergency and then go golfing."
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