Hundreds of rallies are underway in communities across the nation on Monday to show widespread rejection of President Donald Trump's national emergency declaration—an "illegal power grab," say critics—to fund his proposed racist border wall.
.@realdonaldtrump has declared a #FakeNationalEmergency over the wall that no one wants. This latest tantrum is illegal and TODAY, 1000s are taking action. Join us: https://t.co/0DZ2TinvIu pic.twitter.com/JQJoC7QsFs
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) February 18, 2019
As of this writing, there are over 260 events planned in 47 states, with most actions kicking off at noon local time. Organized by a large coalition of groups—including MoveOn, CREDO, Win Without War, United We Dream, Indivisible, the Working Families Party, Greenpeace, and others—the rolling actions are a rapid-fire response to the president's Friday declaration, and are meant "to fight Trump's fake crisis and racist deportation force."
"The protestors," say organizers, "will share their vision of an America that welcomes people seeking asylum and stands with immigrant, Muslim, and Black and brown communities. People are ready to demand an end to the fake emergency, the racist wall, and Trump's harmful deportation force."
We are taking to the streets on Monday to protest the #FakeTrumpEmergency and show solidarity with immigrant communities. Will you join us? Click here to find a rapid-response action near you: https://t.co/u6waj2I2tU pic.twitter.com/wEBR3m8SbX
— Working Families Party (@WorkingFamilies) February 16, 2019
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— CODEPINK (@codepink) February 18, 2019
The nationwide events come as a wave of lawsuits challenges the emergency declaration.
The ACLU was swift in its announcement of intent to sue, doing so on Friday. "Let's get something straight upfront," wrote the organization's deputy legal director, Cecillia Wang. "There is no emergency. Members of Congress from both parties, security experts, and Americans who live at the border have all said so. What the president is doing is yet another illegal and dangerous power grab in service of his anti-immigrant agenda."
In addition to the rights group, environmental advocacy organizations as well as a number of states have vowed legal challenges to the emergency declaration.
"The only emergency here is Trump's assault on the Constitution," said Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. His organization along with Defenders of Wildlife and Animal Legal Defense Fund filed suit on Saturday, calling (pdf) the proclamation "unlawful on its face."
"Separation of powers is at the heart of our democracy and the power of the purse is a critical check on the president. Trump's authoritarian attempt to build his destructive border wall is a flagrant abuse of that constitutional structure," Segee continued. "If he gets his way, it'll be a disaster for communities and wildlife along the border, including some of our country's most endangered species."