Protesters are turning out as Vice President Mike Pence attends a fundraiser in Missouri Thursday. Pence is speaking at an event promoting the Trump administration’s tax cut and to raise money for Republican Josh Hawley, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in the November election.
Jessica Estes, a statewide organizer with NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, expects hundreds of people at a rally her group has organized, and hundreds more protesting in the streets.
She says Trump and Pence have attacked not only women’s rights but many of NARAL’s allied groups that advocate for fair immigration, labor and health care access issues. “We want to be clear that he’s not welcome here, his policies are not welcome here and that we are not okay with the way in which this administration is moving,” Estes states.
The event Pence is attending is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Marriott St. Louis Grand. It’s hosted by America First Policies, a group that has courted recent controversy after some of its members made racist remarks. NARAL’s protest is scheduled to start at 8 a.m.
Estes maintains there’s an urgent need to resist the policies of the Trump administration, and she’s convinced that many Missourians agree. “This is not, obviously, a ‘dry run,'” she states. “This a point of contention for Americans across the country and the time is now for us to move into the streets – and not only move into the streets, but the time is now to hold our legislators accountable.”
Other groups and protestors are also planning rallies for Pence’s visit. The vice president is scheduled to be in Illinois by afternoon, fundraising for another Republican candidate running in November.