Nine days after President Donald Trump's return to the White House from his controversial trip to Helsinki, protestors initially determined to keep the jet-lagged president from sleeping have channeled their outrage into financial power — crowdsourcing more than $100,000 since Friday
Nine days after President Donald Trump‘s return to the White House from his controversial trip to Helsinki, protestors initially determined to keep the jet-lagged president from sleeping have channeled their outrage into financial power — crowdsourcing more than $100,000 since Friday.
More than 4,000 activists raised the funds on KremlinAnnex.org, a site tweeted out by protest organizer and political advisor to Hillary Clinton, Adam Parkhomenko. All of the funds will go toward the nightly protests in front of the White House — namely hiring a Russian translator (so that “Trump and the White House understand what protestors are saying,” Parkhomento quipped), commissioning Trump balloons reminiscent of the “Trump Baby” blimp at the protests in England, and purchasing a new, powerful sound system, Parkhomento told PEOPLE on Monday.
The most common contributions are aptly $20.18 and $17.76.
“What’s exciting is that this started with sort of a tweet but has turned into what will hopefully be known as an area where people come to protest — whether it’s after dinner or whether they’re in town,” Parkhomenko said.
The protest, which is in its ninth day, began with a single tweet last Monday afternoon as Trump was flying back to Washington, D.C., from his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin — a trip that had even normally pro-Trump allies crying foul.
Former top Clinton aide Philippe Reines tweeted: “If someone flew home from Helsinki they’d get back to DC around 9 p.m.. You know what I’d hate if I just got back & needed sleep? A bunch of people outside my home with bullhorns & air horns. I’ve never started a protest. How does one do that @MoveOn?”
“I think you just did, homie!” one user responded.
By that evening, hundreds of protestors had gathered to “welcome” Trump home, wielding pots, pans, air horns and whistles. The following night, the noisy, ear-popping crowd returned and drew Stormy Daniels‘ attorney Michael Avenatti and actress Alyssa Milano to protest at the White House. Ever since, the nightly activity on Pennsylvania Avenue has become increasingly creative — bringing an 18-person Mariachi band, opera singers singing America The Beautiful, and conga drummers to the street outside of Trump’s home.
The protestors had their first sighting of the President on Sunday — greeting Trump and first lady Melania with chants of “LOCK HIM UP!” as the first couple returned from Joint Base Andrews.
You can keep track of the events on Pennsylvania Avenue below:
DAY ONE: Advocates, Politicians and Light-Up Signs
The first night of the protest featured President of the Center of American Progress Neera Tanden and Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) speaking to a crowd of fired-up protestors.
DAY TWO: Stormy Daniels’ Attorney Michael Avenatti and Actress Alyssa Milano Fire Up the Crowd
On Tuesday evening, Stormy Daniels‘ attorney Michael Avenatti spoke in front of the White House.
“I hope it brings renewed focus and significant attention on the need for the American people to know why President Trump is abandoning this nation in favor of Vladimir Putin,” Avenatti told PEOPLE on Tuesday.
Actress and activist Alyssa Milano also shared her political fears with the group.
“Everything we know, that we have fought for in the past, is up-for-grabs with this nominee,” Milano said, referring to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The crowd cheered her on, holding signs that read “IMPEACH.”
DAY THREE: 18-Member Mariachi Band Try to Ruin Trump’s Sleep for the Third Straight Night
An 18-member mariachi band played in front of the White House starting around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
“When they go low, we send mariachis,” tweeted President Barack Obama‘s former director of domestic policy, Cecilia Muñoz.
DAY FOUR: Opera Singers Perform ‘America the Beautiful’
Opera singers belted out “America the Beautiful” to try to keep Trump awake on the fourth day of protests.
“Nothing like Opera singers at the White House when Trump is trying to go to bed singing a song he doesn’t know the lyrics to,” Parkhomenko tweeted.
DAY FIVE: Hip Hop, Brass and Dance
A hip-hop and brass band joined two dancers at the White House Friday, motivating anti-Trump protestors as the weekend neared.
DAY SIX: 100% Chance of Rain, 100% Chance of Protest
Rain poured over the nation’s capital on Saturday, but protestors showed up — armed with umbrellas and motivated by a performance by local band The Collective.
DAY SEVEN: Protestors Scream ‘Lock Him Up!’ as Trump and Wife Melania Return Home
With clear skies, protestors turned the chant Trump has often led to mock 2016 rival Hillary Clinton against him and his wife as they arrived home to the White House.
DAY EIGHT: A New Sound System Amplified Conga Drums and Singers Performing the National Anthem
“In addition to drummers, the Monday protest at the Kremlin Annex will feature a singer performing the national anthem to celebrate the commencement of Paul Manafort’s trial,” Parkhomenko tweeted on Sunday. “Bring lots of American flags.”
Protestors traveled from Tennessee and Missouri to join the crowd outside of the White House on Monday, Parkhomenko said, adding that another supporter from out of state sent pizza to Pennsylvania Ave.
DAY NINE: Russian Translator Makes an Appearance so that ‘Trump and the White House Understand What Protestors Are Saying’
A Russian translator from New York City joined protestors Tuesday night, Parkhomenko told PEOPLE.
“Tuesday will be the first day Trump and the White House understands what protesters are saying as we have hired an individual who will be translating what the protesters are saying from English to Russian very loudly,” he said in a tweet.
Protestors also translated the “TREASON” sign into Russian.
Christine Pelosi, Democratic political strategist and daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also spoke to protestors outside the White House Tuesday night.
DAY TEN: Shark Week at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Ten protestors dressed in full-body shark costumes made a splash at the White House Wednesday night — holding signs that read “THIS ALL SEEMS FISHY” and “We don’t bite but MUELLER does.”
The rain came down on the decked-out activists, but they stayed on Pennsylvania Avenue and danced through the storm.
The White House has been scrambling to handle the political fallout following Trump’s disastrous summit with Putin in Helsinki.
In a press conference there last Monday, Trump said he took Putin‘s word over findings by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered with the 2016 American presidential election.
Trump has since backtracked on the widely derided comments. During a meeting Tuesday with members of Congress, Trump said he supported U.S. intelligence agencies and claimed he had misspoken when he said he didn’t see any reason why Russia would have meddled the U.S. election. He has nevertheless continued to defend his performance at the summit. And last week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Trump’s plans to invite Putin to Washington in the fall.