More than 100 people gathered Thursday evening at De la Guerra Plaza before marching up State Street, demanding that the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Trump-Russia collusion be made public immediately.
“I want to make sure that our Democracy is protected,” said former Army Staff Sgt. Brent Goodlet to a group gathered in the plaza. “Protected against future incursions against our voting by foreign actors who do not have our best interest in mind.”
Mr. Goodlet served in the Army for six years before attending graduate school at UCSB. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Goodlet said it’s not enough to call out the flaws of others and that people must embody the ethical standards they demand from their elected officials. He also called for people to listen to others on all sides of the political spectrum in order to find mutual understanding.
“I say these words because I know from personal experience that nothing is worse than coming up and standing in front of people and to feel that your voice isn’t heard. We must all strive not just to speak out, but also to listen. To listen better to our fellow man, our fellow women. We must listen to each other and we must agree that there are certain things that will always be out of bounds. Colluding with a foreign, hostile government should always be out of bounds,” he said, as the crowd cheered.
“I do believe that if the president is found guilty he should be sentenced to jail but I do resist the urge… to blindly scream the words ‘lock him up,’ ‘lock her up,’ ‘lock them up.’ This is a democracy – we do not lock up our political opponents,” Mr. Goodlet said. “We’re better than this. But yes, nobody is above the law.”
Members of the rally held signs reading things like “Tiny Hands off the Report” and “No Mueller Lite.”
“We want to tell our representative, Congressman (Salud) Carbajal, and others, that even here in little Santa Barbara we want to see it,” Rick Closson told the crowd. “70 percent of Americans on both sides of the aisle want to see it.”
The group then took to State Street, as dozens of onlookers throughout the downtown area took notice.
“I want to see the truth,” Walter Hamilton told the News-Press as he marched up the street. “What are they afraid of? Even the Donald said he had no problem releasing it. I think he changed his mind suddenly.”
Pamela Zwehl-Burke said the American people are “in a muddle” and need help getting out.
“We need to keep Trump accountable,” she said.
Jim Coombs, a retired history teacher who recently moved to Santa Barbara from Sacramento, told the News-Press he was offended by President Donald Trump because he is consistently violating the constitution.
“He’s above the law,” he said. “He’s an autocrat and he’s a dictator.”
Mr. Coombs said it was “obvious” that Mr. Trump was guilty of corruption with Russia.
“He’s a Russian tool,” he said. “The Russians bailed him out in the 90s by buying all his properties.
“He’s in Putin’s pocket.”
Thursday’s local rally was one of more than 300 events held nationwide, according to the website moveon.org, which called for the rapid response.
The rally was called for a day after reports by the New York Times and Washington Post, which said that Mr. Mueller’s investigators claim Attorney General William Barr’s summary misrepresented their findings and that the full report is more “troubling” for Mr. Trump.