Community for Unity encourages electors to “vote their conscience”

Phoenix amassed a group of about 70 Community for Unity protesters and others to encourage electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Phoenix amassed a group of about 70 Community for Unity protestors and others to encourage electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Adam Burrel holds his daughter, Juna, in one arm and a sign the other. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Marching in place to ward off the cold, some 70 protestors gathered on the capitol steps Sunday to call on the nation’s electors to choose someone other than Donald Trump for president, but even as they waved signs and chanted, there wasn’t a whole lot of confidence that this action would actually work.

“I think it is very unlikely that they don’t vote for Trump, but then again, I thought it was very unlikely that Trump would be elected president,” said Adam Burrel, who drove down from Jamestown for the protest. “I think this is what we are going to start with. It is the beginning of a bigger movement that will culminate with the midterm elections.”

Sunday’s protest was organized by Community for Unity, a movement that arose from the post-election protests that filled downtown Denver streets.

“I am hopeful that he will not be voted in, but I just don’t know how it will play out in the end,” said Dezy St. Nolde, a.k.a. Phoenix, whose call for action got Community for Unity going in the first place. “I’ve been very disappointed before.”

Phoenix amassed a group of about 70 Community for Unity protestors and others to encourage electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Phoenix leads the group in a chant. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

On Monday the nation’s 538 electors will place their votes and formally decide the 2016 election. In most years, this is purely a formality, but like almost every other stage of this year’s election, this too has become the subject of controversy.

In Colorado, as in 28 other states, the law requires electors to cast votes in line with the popular vote. But a movement has broken out, primarily among Democratic electors, to vote for a moderate conservative candidate to encourage Republican electors to do the same, thereby depriving Trump of enough votes to win outright.

The “faithless electors” or “Hamilton electors” have not made a lot of headway, but the protestors wanted to send them whatever encouragement they could.

“We just really want to bring awareness to people to reach out to electors and just show people there are lot of people who don’t want [Trump] in office,” St. Nolde said.

Since Nov. 10, when thousands clogged the streets of downtown Denver to protest Trump’s election, Community for Unity has met six times and maintains its message of peaceful protest against what supporters consider a political injustice.

Phoenix amassed a group of about 70 Community for Unity protestors and others to encourage electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
About 70 protestors Sunday called on electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Regardless of Monday’s outcome, St. Nolde said it is important to maintain identity and solidarity through what could be difficult years for minorities.

“If this gets out of hand, he stays president and we are dealing with even more issues, we need to know our rights. We need to know that we can fight back and not just accept everything that is happening to us,” St. Nolde said. “We are not the minority. Separately we are minorities, but together we are definitely not the minority.”

Phoenix amassed a group of about 70 Community for Unity protestors and others to encourage electors to vote their consciences regarding Trump. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Anna Day holds a sign that reads “There is no Plan[et] B.” (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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