For the last year, local residents have held up large, lighted letters against the sky in front of the White House as part of the Kremlin Annex protests — a dramatic visual protest that has received national notoriety.
Protests began on July 16 last year when President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Protestors took issue with Trump’s acceptance of Putin’s assertions that he did not interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Activists from Herndon-Reston Indivisible organized and sent teams of volunteers carrying lighted letters with key messages to the White House. For the first four months of the initiative, protestors held up lighted letters every night. In mid-November, the initiative switched to three days per week. Following its one-year anniversary, letters light up the sky on Saturdays from 7:30-9 p.m.
Herndon-Reston Indivisible is a grassroots advocacy organization that aims to mobilize a progressive network to resist the Trump agenda, according to its website.
Organizers behind the visual protest said they were surprised by the attention received by their advocacy. The visual appeal of their protest has earned a nod by the Grey Lady, the Washington Post, USA TODAY and Newsweek.
“In effect, they become our voice — and a loud voice at that,” said Nan Dearborn, a co-lead of the lighted letters initiative. “You just can’t miss the message when you have activists holding ‘treason’ or ‘corrupt’ or ‘racist’ in giant lighted letters right in front of the White House.”
The first night, volunteers held up letters spelling “liar” — a visual display that HRI co-founder Heidi Zollo said was “an instant hit.”
Since then, volunteers have made roughly 45 letters to spell out anything at short notice. The leaders of the initiative — Ginny Reed and Dearborn — scan the news and consider the number of volunteers to determine what word to hold up. On a typical night, the word of the night is unveiled when volunteers arrive at the White House.
One of the most memorable nights was when activists gathered for the “Close the Camps” protest. An energized crowd of protestors held up signs in the pouring rain in early July. The lighted letters also travel to other protests, including monthly vigils at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association.
Organizers expect to hold up the lighted letters every Saturday night so long as the Kremlin Annex protests continue.
Photo via Herndon-Reston Indivisible
Before we head into a weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on the site in recent days. Pet of the Week: Bear who, after living outside…
Construction on a new pedestrian bridge over Wiehle Avenue is set to begin sometime next summer. The bridge, which would connect to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, is intended…
Zoomph, a Reston-based tech company that started in 2016 is continuing to build national partnerships. Its digital platform provides social media post metrics for sports clients along with detailed demographic…
For anyone who feels strongly about whether or not Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway should continue to bear those names, the time to share that opinion has arrived. The…