Pro- and anti-impeachment rallies occur across the street from each other
The 600 block of Columbus Street in downtown Ottawa was divided Tuesday night.
On one side, a group of about 30 to 35 people — some armed with pro-impeachment signs — chanted "Kinzinger! Vote yes," in favor of impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Directly across the street, another group of about 20 to 25 — hoisting pro-Trump signs, banners and even a cardboard cutout of the president — responded "Vote no!" in support of the president.
As part of several nationwide rallies organized by moveon.org and Indivisible on the eve of the House of Representative's impeachment vote, Heidi Henry, of Marseilles, asked people to gather in front of U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger's district office in downtown Ottawa to rally in favor of impeachment.
The rally figures to have little effect on the congressman. Kinzinger, R-Channahon, confirmed in a statement Tuesday he will vote "no" on impeachment. No Republicans have said they will vote yes.
The message of the rally was "impeach and remove" the president with chants erupting of "Impeach 45" and "What do we want? Impeachment. When do we want it? Now."
"I'm grateful for our democracy," Henry said. "We want it to be known, it's not for sale. It's not a pawn for personal favors from other countries."
Trump is accused of abusing his presidential power in dealing with Ukraine to help himself politically and then obstructing Congress by blocking the later investigation.
When Joni Sorce, of Streator, and other Trump supporters heard of the planned rally, they wanted to have their voices heard, too.
"We wanted to show we love our country," Sorce said.
Sorce said she believes Democrats are putting their party in front of the wishes of the country. Kinzinger has called the impeachment proceedings a distraction. Trump, himself, compared the impeachment inquiry to the "Salem Witch Trials."
"It's a political game, and shame on them," Sorce said.
The vote is expected to come Wednesday, and is expected to split mostly along party lines.
Henry, who had previously run for state senator as a Democrat against Sen. Sue Rezin, said she was pleased at the turnout on a night when temperatures were in the 20s.
She said it was important to gather in front of Kinzinger's office, because the congressman speaks out against the president when it's convenient, but on important issues, she said he follows the party line.
"He doesn't care what voters want," Henry said. "He only responds to their concerns in form letters."
Those on the other side of the street said they were happy with Kinzinger's message Tuesday.
Several motorists on the busy street honked, but it was unclear most of the time for which side.