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Government, Politics & Issues

St. Louis Demonstrators Call For Hawley To Resign

Protesters gathered in front of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis Saturday afternoon, calling for Sen. Josh Hawley to resign. “He fomented insurrection and that's a line I didn't expect him to cross. I think he needs to go immediately," said St. Louis resident Sarah Felts.
Shahla Farzan
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St. Louis Public Radio
Protesters gathered in front of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis Saturday afternoon urging Sen. Josh Hawley to resign.

Hundreds rallied in downtown St. Louis Saturday to demand the resignation of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley.

The Missouri Republican was the first senator to announce he would publicly object to President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Hawley faced strong criticism this week after he was photographed raising his fist in support of a pro-Trump mob, shortly before they burst into the Capitol on Wednesday.

Under gray skies, a crowd of masked protesters gathered in front of the Old Courthouse Saturday afternoon, waving handmade signs that read “Resign Hawley” and “The blood’s on your hands.”

For St. Louis resident Kristin Dennis, Hawley’s “performative sedition” helped incite Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol.

“There's an absolute causal relationship here,” Dennis said. “It’s incredibly frustrating because people who don't know the inner workings of what this guy's trying to do take him at his word, at face value, and are completely directed in the wrong way.”

Protesters in St. Louis painted "Resign Hawley" on the pavement in front of the Old Courthouse on Saturday.
Shahla Farzan
Protesters opposed to Hawley's challenge of the election of Joe Biden gathered by the Old Courthouse on Saturday.

Protester Sarah Felts agreed, arguing that the call for Hawley to leave office goes “beyond partisan differences.”

“He fomented insurrection and that's a line I didn't expect him to cross,” Felts said. “I think he needs to go immediately.”

As a group of protesters painted “Resign Hawley” in block letters on the pavement in front of the Old Courthouse, St. Louis resident Reginald Garth stood in the crowd. Garth, said Republican attempts to overturn the election results were blatantly seditious.

“This was done at the hands of Donald Trump and Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz,” Garth said. “They need to face the consequences for their actions.”

In the days following the riot at the Capitol, Hawley has faced a swift backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike. His mentor, former Missouri Sen. John Danforth, said supporting Hawley’s election bid was the “worst mistake I ever made in my life” and laid blame for the riot at his feet.

“But for him it wouldn’t have happened,” Danforth told the Kansas City Star.

Protesters waved signs and chanted "You don't even live here" during Saturday's rally, a reference to the fact that Sen. Hawley primarily resides in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Shahla Farzan
Protesters waved signs and chanted, "You don't even live here," during Saturday's rally, a reference to a criticism by some that Hawley's primary home is in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The Student Bar Association of the University of Missouri Law School, where Hawley once taught, along with the editorial boards of the two largest Missouri newspapers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star, have called for Hawley’s resignation. His publisher, Simon & Schuster, dropped his book deal Thursday, citing his role in the “disturbing [and] deadly insurrection” at the Capitol.

On Twitter, Hawley thanked the law enforcement officials who responded during the attack on the Capitol and called for those who broke the law to be prosecuted. But he has remained steadfast in his objection to the electoral college certification.

“I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections,” he said in a statement to KSDK. “That’s my job, and I will keep doing it.”

Follow Shahla on Twitter: @shahlafarzan

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