Rep. Barbara Lee to join boycott of Trump’s inauguration

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On Jan. 20, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, will join about 50 House Democrats in boycotting the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Along with Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, Lee plans to mobilize against Trump’s “divisive and prejudiced” campaign. In a Jan. 12 press release, Lee said she will be “organizing and preparing for resistance” in lieu of attending the event.

“In good conscience, I cannot celebrate the inauguration of Donald Trump who ran a bigoted and divisive campaign and who has not tempered his rhetoric since the election,” Lee said in an emailed statement.

In the press release, Lee cited disparaging remarks that the president-elect has made about undocumented immigrants, people of color, women, followers of Islam, veterans and those with disabilities as reasons why she is opposing his election. Lee challenged the electoral vote certification Jan. 6 on the basis that disenfranchisement and evidence of Russian interference in the election may have deemed it illegitimate.

Caiden Nason, the vice president of membership for the Cal Berkeley Democrats, said in an email that Lee’s decision to boycott the event makes sense given her history of anti-war and pro-justice work in office.

Lee said in the press release that instead of focusing on creating unity within the country after the election, the president-elect employs the same “tools of division” that he used in his campaign. Lee added that the president-elect’s cabinet appointments are emblematic of his style of governance.

“I think it’s a rather juvenile way to express opposition,” said David Craig, the treasurer of Berkeley College Republicans. “A more principled opposition would be to fight for their priorities by sending bills rather than making a show.”

Contact Aleah Jennings-Newhouse at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ajn_dc.