SAN DIEGO – About 2,000 protesters calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump began marching just before noon Sunday near downtown.
The San Diego “Impeachment March,” part of a nationwide string of similar marches happening Sunday in more than four dozen cities, began at Waterfront Park outside the San Diego County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway. Police reported there were about 2,000 protesters who began gathering about 11 a.m. and started marching just before noon, with the protest expected to last until about 2 p.m.
Officers also reported that about 150 counterprotesters dressed in helmets and other riot gear had gathered near the impeachment protesters before they began marching.
An “Impeach Trump Rally” was also planned from 11 a.m. to noon near the Westfield North County shopping mall in Escondido.
The march in downtown San Diego was expected to include musical performances, a speech by former Democratic state Assemblywoman Lori Saldana and speeches from members of activist groups like the Border Angels and the San Diego Young Muslim Democrats.
As the protesters began marching Sunday, they chanted “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Donald Trump has got to go.” Organizers planned other chants in English and Spanish.
Organizers believe Trump has “been in blatant violation of the Constitution from the day he was sworn into the office of President,” according to the group’s website.
“It is time that congressional representatives do their job and start the process to impeach this president. We believe president Trump has committed constitutional breaches, consistently lied, cheated, and enforces laws that primarily benefit him and his billionaire friends at the expense of the country.”
Protest organizers also planned to target Doug Manchester, the prominent San Diego businessman and developer who was nominated by Trump to be ambassador to the Bahamas.
Manchester held a fundraiser in 2016 for then-candidate Trump and donated to the president’s campaign and political action networks.
“On our route today, we will be stopping to rally at a construction site downtown that belongs to Doug Manchester,” the organizers of the impeachment march wrote. “We will … let him know that as San Diegans, we do not support his actions, or his support for Trump.”