Mina Bailey, born in the first year of 45’s presidency, held a hand-lettered sign that said: “Donald Trump go to jail.”
Myriam Miedzian, born latę in FDR’s first term, shared a similar sentiment, displaying pictures of Trump behind bars and Capitol rioter Jacob Chansley, the “QAnon shaman,” with the legend: “LOCK THEM UP!”
Mina at age 4 1/2 and Miedzian at 85 bookended a peaceful streetside protest Thursday marking the anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection.
They were among 80 people, drawn by social media postings of Indivisible San Diego Persist, to Grape Street and Harbor Drive north of the County Administration Center downtown.
On a Harbor Drive median, Lisa Edmondson of Carlsbad showed signs to southbound motorists, urging them to honk for voting rights.
“I’m a little disappointed in the turnout,” said Edmondson, a filmmaker with Xcorps Action Sports Music TV. “It’s a reminder of how people don’t realize what’s going on in our nation. We’re losing democracy.”
Event organizer Wendy Mattas, wearing a “masked but not silenced” face covering, said she was gratified by the turnout.
She called Jan. 6 an act of domestic terrorism, “a direct attack on the home of our democracy.”
“Today’s a day of mourning,” Mattas said at the start of the two-hour event, part of a one-two “vigil” punch with a candlelight rally at 7 p.m. at Union and West F streets. Homemade signs read: “Fight Truth Decay,” “Stop the Right Wing Coup” and “Republicans Get Over It.”
“Never forget that this happened,” she added, and “celebrate this country that we really love and are in danger of losing.”
Even young Mina sensed the moment.
“She’s been hearing a lot about Donald Trump and that he’s kind of a bad guy and doesn’t tell the truth,” said her mother, Katy Bailey of North Park, attending with her stepmother, Jane.
Sending the 45th president to jail is about the worst thing Mina thinks can happen, Katy said. “My message today is that people who incite violence and want to overthrow our democracy need to be held accountable for it.”
Said Jane Bailey: “We have to save our democracy and people need to come out and fight for it. It’s a very scary time.”
Protester Miedzian, a La Jolla resident with a philosophy doctorate from Columbia University, once taught at Rutgers University and Barnard College and has three books to her name, including the significant “Boys Will Be Boys: Breaking the Link between Masculinity and Violence.”
She saw violence on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress was fatally invaded, halting the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes.
“We had a coup d’etat,” Miedzian said. “Donald Trump and his people tried to take over the country because he couldn’t accept the total legitimate votes.”
She called that day “my nightmare. … American fascism.”
She was especially disturbed that most Republicans “know perfectly well that this was a legal election. But they care more about getting re-elected than about the democratic future of this country. It’s absolutely nauseating.”
(Minutes later, a driver on northbound Harbor yelled out his window: “Trump DeSantis, baby!” a would-be 2024 ticket with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as Trump’s running mate. Former Chargers player and NFL coach Sam Anno, among the protesters, yelled after him: “Come here! Come here!”)
Paul McEneany of Del Mar, next to Anno on the Harbor Drive median, said he joined the demonstration in memory of his late wife, Maria Desiderio McEneany, a Democratic Party Volunteer of the Year.
“She would be out here today,” he said.
Also representing his wife was county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, a day after Lorena Gonzalez quit the state Assembly, where Fletcher served two terms.
Why was it important people were protesting?
“This is vital,” he said. “When we talk about Jan. 6, it is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It is about the foundational bedrock of our country — free and fair elections and accepting the results.”
He said that when he lost elections, he congratulated the person who won.
“I wished them well because now they were my representative,” Fletcher told Times of San Diego before greetings protesters and posing for photos. “And we can disagree and we should disagree fervently on matters of policy and values and which direction we go, but we cannot allow the undermining of our democracy and the essence of free and fair elections.
“We have to continue to highlight what happened and continue to call it out for what it was and continue to get back to the point where we have elections, we accept the results, and we move on.”
McEneany came with concerns about “saving our democracy,” but also another issue.
“Most of all, I’m here because I’m a proponent of getting the nuclear waste off the beach at San Onofre,” he said. “We’ve gotta do it before there’s a major disaster.”