Bethesda Beat - After Announcing Inauguration Boycott, Raskin Invites Supporters to Friday Nature Walk Also secures 30 buses to transport 1,800 local demonstrators for Saturday’s Women’s March

January 18, 2017

By Bethany Rodgers


As the newly inaugurated president is parading through a crush of spectators Friday afternoon in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin and his naturalist friend will be meeting to “wind our way through the magnificent trees of the floodplain forest.”

Raskin described his Friday plans in an email to supporters, shortly after announcing that his conscience wouldn’t allow him to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. Instead, the Takoma Park Democrat will be hosting a nature walk through Rock Creek Park. And he’s inviting potentially dispirited Earth lovers to join him.

“In addition to everything else, our environmental laws are under severe attack right now,” the 8th District representative wrote, later adding, “Take heart. If you love and care about protecting our region’s natural resources and the planet, you are not alone.”

On Friday morning, he’ll be in Montgomery County “talking about our constitutional values with young people” instead of attending Inauguration Day at the Capitol, he explained in his email. Then, Raskin and nature writer Melanie Choukas-Bradley will meet at 4 p.m. at Boundary Bridge, a foot crossing that spans the Maryland-D.C. border. They are inviting others—the first 75 to sign up—to meander with them through Rock Creek Park until the sun sets, he wrote.

On Saturday, Raskin’s campaign will be transporting hundreds of people into the District for the Women’s March on Washington, a grass-roots event expected to be attended by about 200,000 people. Raskin has secured 30 buses to drive an estimated 1,800 demonstrators downtown, according to his email.

Raskin, a law professor who was elected to Congress in November, at first said he believed it was his constitutional duty to attend Trump’s inauguration, even though he objected to the president-elect. But on Tuesday, he announced that Trump’s harsh rhetoric and stance on several issues had forced him to boycott the ceremony.

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