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Hundreds protest at Civic Plaza

Hundreds gathered at Civic Plaza Thursday night to protest against the possibility of President Donald Trump stopping special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Hundreds gathered at Civic Plaza Thursday night to protest against the possibility of President Donald Trump stopping special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

A wave of color and noise flooded Downtown Albuquerque Thursday evening as hundreds gathered to denounce President Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions amid worries that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election could be halted.

“It took him (Trump) less than 24 hours until, all of a sudden, he needed to figure out how he could fire Sessions and get his butt out of trouble,” Heather Ferguson of Common Cause New Mexico, referring to the midterm elections, told the bundled crowd on chilly Civic Plaza. “Because he knows it’s coming.”

Organized by Indivisible Nob Hill, Common Cause New Mexico and other local groups, the demonstration was among 900 similar ones nationwide.

In Santa Fe, 400 people rallied at the Railyard, with Mayor Alan Webber and others speaking to the crowd as people held up signs saying “Regime Change” and “Protect Mueller.”

In Santa Fe, 400 people rallied at the Railyard, with Mayor Alan Webber and others speaking to the crowd as people held up signs saying “Regime Change” and “Protect Mueller.”

Around 400 people crowd the Santa Fe Railyard Thursday night to rally against the the possibility of President Donald Trump stopping the Robert Mueller investigation. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Around 400 people crowd the Santa Fe Railyard Thursday night to rally against the the possibility of President Donald Trump stopping the Robert Mueller investigation. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

In Albuquerque, the crowd met at Fourth and Gold, where protesters waved signs that read “Protect Mueller” and “No One Is Above The Law” while chanting “M-A-G-A, Mueller ain’t going away” and “2-4-6-8, Mueller must investigate.”

From there, the protesters – made up of families, students and even pets – marched up Fourth Street in an icy breeze to the plaza.

Benjamin Baird, clutching a balloon depicting Trump as a baby, said he is happy Democrats took the House during the midterm elections but doesn’t know what to expect going forward.

“Hopefully, not more of the same,” the 28-year-old said.

Baird said he believes community gatherings such as the one Thursday can help bring real change to the nation.

“As long as it stays peaceful, I think it will,” he said. “Ideally, I just want to see everybody come together and be a country of human beings.”

While the large turnout gives them hope, Christin and Geoff McCool said it’s a “mixed bag” when a large portion of America continues to support President Trump’s actions.

“It doesn’t feel like we have a whole lot of choice. We’re not lawmakers, so, besides voting, peaceful protesting is the only other option,” Christin McCool said. “It’s the only way to have a voice.”

The McCools brought their two young boys, Liam and Finn, who held signs saying “No one is above the law.”

“We want to teach them civic responsibility,” Christin McCool said, at first joking that they couldn’t find a baby sitter. “If you don’t speak out, you’re going to suffer the consequences.”

The McCools said they want their children to understand and have a voice against global warming, voter suppression, racism and other problems.

“This isn’t the first time we have had a president who was corrupt and it won’t be the last time,” Christin McCool said. “I want them to grow up in a country that’s free.”

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