NORWALK, Conn. – The Mueller Report drew a small band of protestors to the Stroffolino Bridge on Thursday, a minor reprise of a large November protest.
“Go home snowflakes, go home,” the Rev. Paul Juchniewich, otherwise known as “Pastor Paul,” yelled from the north side of the bridge as cars passed, while the people on the other side quietly demonstrated in favor of a public release of the Mueller Report.
Juchniewich in November yelled “Bill Clinton is a rapist!” to about 300 people on the other side of East Avenue, there to protest the resignation of Attorney General Jeffrey Session in a rally called “A Mueller Firing Rapid Response event.”
About 15 protestors were on the south side of the bridge Thursday when NancyOnNorwalk arrived about half an hour after the protest’s scheduled start time.
“Their numbers are diminishing. More and more people are becoming disheartened because there was no collusion, there’s no obstruction – they are giving up, it’s over,” Juchniewich said to NancyOnNorwalk.
“Nobody believes you,” he yelled to the protestors, calling the media “the enemy of the people.”
A man in a passing pickup truck yelled a vulgar and homophobic insult directed at Trump. Another pickup truck drove past with a very large Trump flag waving. That truck circled back to pass the protestors on the other side.
Attorney General William Barr on March 24 released a four-page letter summarizing Mueller’s report, which did not include a finding of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russian government. The report left unresolved the question of whether Trump obstructed justice, and Barr’s memo stated that it did not exonerate Trump.
The full Mueller Report, reportedly close to 400 pages, has yet to be released. Democratic commentators say that Mueller himself must have included a summary in the report, and question why that wasn’t released instead of the summary issued by Barr, a Trump appointee.
“It doesn’t matter,” Juchniewich said. “You’re buying the conspiracy theory. No collusion, no obstruction.”
He said he’d been yelling, “Trumps owns a large Russian botfarm,” and shouted across the street, “Goodbye snowflake children.”
On the other side, Debra Bono of Westport, one of five protestors still on the bridge explained why she wanted the report’s release.
“I think it’s important that there’s transparency,” Bono said. “Whether there’s something in there or not, we paid a lot of money for it and it needed to be done. If you had a medical condition, you wouldn’t say, ‘No, I don’t want to bother with the x-rays.’ You’d say take the x-rays and show me that there’s nothing there.”
If the doctor said “trust me” once the x-rays were in, you’d want more information, she added. “That’s what’s going on here.”
Bono said she didn’t know how many protestors had been out there earlier, as she arrived late. A woman who would only give her first name, Kim, said there had been up to 40.
Trump trolls sign up online when an event is advertised to mislead people into thinking many people will turn out, she said.
A lot of passing motorists gave the protest a thumbs up, Bono said.
“We have that crabby guy across the street,” she said, describing Juchniewich as “very vociferous in his disdain.”
“He’s in keeping with the ignorance that I see out there,” Bono said.
A woman who would only give her first name, Janet, said she lives in Norwalk and called Juchniewich’s comments ad hominem and sexist, asking, “How relevant is Hilary Clinton?”
Janet and Kim, who said she lives in Stamford, said they don’t disagree about the Clintons.
“People like him think we’re in a football game. ‘It’s our side, we won,’” Janet said, listing issues she considered “important” including international relations, the environment, and racial differences. Kim mentioned economic disparity and expressed concern for small businesses.
Kim said she’d supported Bernie Sanders, then Clinton.
“I just like coming, being counted,” she said, so that people know they’re not alone.
“Maybe you don’t have the courage or a warm enough coat to come out and protest, but you’re not alone,” she said.
“If I am going to sit around with my friends and complain about the current state of things, I need to be counted, stand up and be counted,” Janet said. “That’s what this is about.”