The livestreams were ablaze, the invitations had a spelling error, and many invited guests were vehemently opposed to the speaker: President Trump’s first State of the Union took place at 9pm EST last night.
While, traditionally, the State of the Union address is used to further the agenda of the President and his party, Democrats actively protested Tuesday night’s event. Here’s how they did it:
Some members did not attend the event at all. Representative Gregory Meeks from New York tweeted: “[President Trump] does not respect me or the communities I represent, so I cannot in good conscience sit idly on the House floor and listen to his scripted speech.” Other boycotters explained that they didn’t want to watch Trump lie about how the administration is doing. While boycotting is a strong symbol, there has been concern that such actions will be detrimental to the American public’s perception of Congress’s negotiating ability.
Some lawmakers decided to wear black in honor of the #MeToo movement. This follows the same choice made at the Golden Globes, when actors decided to wear black as a statement against sexual harassment in Hollywood. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was one of the Congress members who committed to this form of protest.
Another way Representatives took a stand against the administration was via their invitees: among the invitees were DREAMers, DACA recipients, and #MeToo activists. Unfortunately, the backlash to these efforts began even before the State of the Union commenced. Representative Paul Gosar from Arizona called on Capitol Police to "consider checking identification of all attending the State of the Union address and arresting any illegal aliens in attendance.”