Protestors determined to keep President Donald Trump from getting a good night’s sleep after his controversial summit in Helsinki called in big shots for Day Three of #OccupyLafayettePark on Wednesday night—an 18-person Mariachi band crowd-funded in under 30 minutes by Twitter users.
After two days of protests drew hundreds of people to Pennsylvania Avenue to “welcome” Trump home from talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin that critics have denounced as appeasement, former top aides to Trump’s 2016 election opponent Hillary Clinton kept the momentum going by finding a Mariachi band to join in. The band started playing in front of the White House around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Washington, D.C. protest was one of a series of anti-Trump gatherings across the country Wednesday night.
Protestors held candles as the eighteen musicians played “Cielito lindo.” The crowd erupted in song.
Clinton’s political advisor and one of the event organizers, Adam Parkhomenko, live streamed the event on periscope.
“Nothing says Impeach like a Mariachi band,” one user chimed in.
The musically infused evening capped the third consecutive night of noisy protests that began with a single Tweet on Monday afternoon as Trump was flying back to Washington from Helsinki meetings with Putin that had even normally pro-Trump allies crying foul. Former CIA director John Brennan went so far as to call Trump’s performance beside Putin as “nothing short of treasonous. … He is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
All of that got former Clinton aide Philippe Reines thinking—and Tweeting—on Monday: “If someone flew home from Helsinki they’d get back to DC around 9pm. 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.
After sensing a heightened anti-Trump fervor in the nation’s capital, #OccupyLafayettePark organizers Parkhomenk and Reines joined forces with national advocacy organization Public Citizen to throw their third event on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Mariachi band became the staple of Day 3 White House protests when Parkhomenko Tweeted Tuesday night: “We are looking for some good mariachi bands to play outside the White House around Trump’s bedtime. If you have any recommendations please let us know.”
After a phone call to the coordinator of Mariachi bands, Parkhomenko’s vision became reality.
“I just got off the phone with an individual who is the coordinator of Mariachi bands and his first question was…Your primary goal is volume right? Yep,” Parkhomenko Tweeted.
He initially promised a 13 person band, but by the time the sun set it had grown to 18. To fund the musical protest, Parkhomenko tweeted out an Act Blue contribution page link. In under 30 minutes, the band was paid for.
In addition to the music, the Wednesday protest featured prominent politicians who spoke during a White House “vigil”—Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) among them—that was live streamed by advocacy group Move On.
Protestors roared in agreement with the speakers, holding lit up signs that read “TREASON” and “PROTECT AMERICA” and “Country Over Party.”
“When they go low, we send mariachis,” Tweeted President Barack Obama‘s former director of domestic policy, Cecilia Muñoz.
The protest ended a few minutes after 10 p.m., when Parkhomenko Tweeted a video showing security escorting protestors away from the White House fence.
“I think Trump woke up,” the former Clinton aide wrote.
The crowd that is determined to keep the president awake at night plans to return on Thursday, according to the Act Blue page.