A Sandy Springs resident is helping to organize an Atlanta version of a nationwide “vigil” opposing President Trump’s administration on July 18.
Jill Myers said she has not been involved in political organizing before and disagrees with many of the left-wing groups behind the vigil movement. But she indicated Trump’s recent enormously controversial comments about Russia and election tampering drove her to volunteer for a “Confront Corruption ATL” vigil in downtown Atlanta, for which nearly 100 people have RSVP’ed.
The vigil run 6 to 9 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Building near Five Points MARTA Station. It’s planned as a “peaceful, non-violent demonstration of unity.”
Myers, a CEO and founder of a software startup, said she was inspired to join the national “Confront Corruption and Demand Democracy” vigil effort after hearing about it from a group she respects, the good-government organization Common Cause.
“Common Cause is my guidepost,” said Myers. “It’s an organization whose mission is definitively pro-democracy and non-partisan.”
Sara Henderson, the executive director of Common Cause’s Georgia chapter, confirmed her group’s involvement in the local vigil. The group is promoting the vigil, with Myers as lead organizer and contact.
A vigil announcement letter sent by Myers cites concerns about possible Russian tampering with U.S. elections and Trump’s reaction to it. The letter cites the recent indictment on election and campaign charges of 12 Russian officials by Robert Mueller III, who is leading a special investigation into possible Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election won by Trump.
The letter also alludes to Trump’s enormously controversial remarks, delivered July 16 while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the effect that he saw no reason why the Russian government would influence U.S. elections, despite the opinion of various U.S. intelligence agencies that it did. Trump later said he partly misspoke and believes the Russians have such reason, but that others could have been involved as well.
“Never in America’s history has our president enthusiastically refuted his own government on the world stage,” says the vigil announcement letter. “Never has our president bowed to a former KGB officer who murders his rivals.”
As a result, the letter sent by Myers says, “…I will lead a vigil that confronts the rampant corruption we have witnessed since January 20, 2017,” the day Trump was inaugurated.
The national vigil movement is being promoted by a large number of largely liberal political groups, such as People for the American Way, MoveOn, Daily Kos and Greenpeace.
The vigil movement’s mission statement reads in part, “From attacks on the rule of law to conflicts of interest, ethics violations and flagrant abuse of government offices for personal gain, the corruption of the American government by the president, his associates and many in his party has reached a new, profound low.” The supporting groups are calling for a variety of reforms related to government transparency and voting rights.
Most of dozens of vigils being organized are on July 18, though some are running throughout the week. They range from a “Vigil Against the Beast, Donald Trump” in Indianapolis to “Dallas Confronts Corruption” in Texas. The Atlanta vigil is, so far, the only one listed in Georgia.
Myers says she has “never led or participated in any events organized by these groups. I do not agree with policy positions of the majority of these groups.” She said she’s not even a Common Cause donor. She calls herself “a concerned citizen who is trying to apply my knowledge of history, given these unprecedented times.”
For more information, see confrontcorruption.org.