Photo: Jon Hewett / WWJ

Metro Detroiters Protest National Emergency Declaration

"It is one man and one man’s wishes and he is ignoring the wishes of the country."

February 18, 2019 - 2:56 pm

FERNDALE, Mich. (WWJ) -- Hundreds of people across Metro Detroit on Monday took to the streets for a Presidents Day protest of presidential overreach.

Thousands across the country did the same, protesting President Donald Trump's recent decision to go around Congress and declare a national emergency to get funding for his long-promised wall at the southern border.

Congress approved far less money for his proposed wall than Trump was seeking, so he used executive action to siphon billions of dollars from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts. The move, which has drawn criticism from both sides of the political aisle, is expected to receive legal challenges, though Trump reportedly vows to veto Congress if it votes to disapprove his declaration.

More than 50 protesters showed up in Ferndale Monday near Woodward Avenue and 9 Mile road to oppose Trump's declaration.

Many protesters told WWJ's Jon Hewett that they believe the president's desires for a wall are not the wishes of the American public.

"What he’s trying to do is not logical. It is one man and one man’s wishes and he is ignoring the wishes of the country," one woman told Hewett.

At its peak, the protest along Woodward and 9 Mile in Ferndale drew 60-70 people, many carrying signs that included “the border crisis = fake news” and “a real president wouldn’t need a fake emergency.”

One of the organizers of the protests, Laurie Lisi of Huntington Woods, says she has family near the border and does not believe there is a national emergency in that area,

“I have a daughter who lives in Brownsville, Texas, with her husband," Lisi said. "She’s about to have a baby. I am there all the time. And there is absolutely no emergency.”

Jen Richmond of Ferndale says the president’s emergency declaration is an abuse of power.

“I think the problem is, everybody seems to be pouring issues into buckets of left and right instead of pouring them into the buckets of right and wrong," Richmond said. "I think we maybe need to take politics back for a minute, dial it down and think about the real issue, which is people. We’re here to help each other, and I think he’s really abused his power to help himself."

In addition to Ferndale, there were also protests at Wayne State in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Lansing and Howell.