Vigil held for democracy in downtown Hollister

Group holds candlelight vigil in protest of President Donald Trump's remarks and politics. They said they hope their voices encourage others to use theirs.

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink Intern Staff Reporter.

Over 20 people gathered in downtown Hollister July 18 to protest and voice their concerns about the state of democracy in the United States.

Vigils were held across the country on the same night to protest “attacks on the rule of law to conflicts of interest, ethics violations, and flagrant abuse of government offices for personal gain,” according to

The gathering of people started the vigil for democracy at 8 p.m. The group of candleholders socialized with each other and waved to people passing by and those who honked their car horns in support.

“I’m out here tonight because democracy feels like it’s under attack,” Aromas resident Wayne Norton said. “ We have a government that does not follow the normal procedures of a democracy.”

Norton, press coordinator for the Robert Rivas for Assembly 2018 campaign, stood on the corner of Fourth Street and San Benito Street with the group and held a six-inch candle in one hand while protecting the flame from blowing out with the other.

Most people held candles while others held up signs that said “Confront Corruption!", "Traitor Trump", and "Demand Democracy! #VoteBlue".

Jacob Rivera and Laura Stampleman said the group Confront Corruption began to organize the candlelight vigil shortly after President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press conference in Helsinki on Monday, July 16.

“The last straw was this meeting and press conference with Putin where Donald Trump basically ignored all the information provided by his intelligence agencies that Russia is actively trying to influence our elections,” Stampleman said.

Rivera said he didn’t agree with Trump’s support of strong-man politics.

“We have a lot of strong opinions and people like to see people active and vocal about the Trump administration and its wrong doings,” Rivera said.

He said the group was also part of the downtown protest against immigration policies on Saturday, June 30.

One of the protesters at the downtown vigil declined to speak to BenitoLink because she said she had received backlash before on Facebook.



Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is BenitoLink Co-Editor and Content Manager. He joined BenitoLink as reporter intern and was soon brought on staff as a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. He is a San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily. He is a USC Center for Health Journalism 2020 California Fellow.