CAIRO — Two political activists from New Jersey created a stir Thursday when they set up a campaign table with posters reading “Jail Mueller” and “Defend Trump” outside the Cairo Post Office on Main Street.
The pair were touting a campaign by perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche and calling for the dismissal of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
“We’re organizing all over the country — it’s a nationwide campaign,” said Christopher Sare, who handed out LaRouchePAC literature and encouraged voters to join Political Action Committees.
“...We just put out a ‘Campaign to Win the Future’ and the first step is stopping the coup against our president and exposing the British role in this thing.”
The LaRouche proponents are visiting as many places across the country as they can, Sare said.
The other activist declined to comment or identify himself.
“We’re going everywhere,” Sare added. “We often do post offices because they’re very public.
A small crowd gathered around Sare’s table Thursday to browse the group’s literature and discuss their views.
“I think the press are biased against the president [Trump],” said Cairo resident Susan Dethomas. “I’m frustrated with our country, that they’re oblivious to the good that Trump is doing. I’m happy that he’s sticking to his campaign platform.”
LaRouche is an American political activist, leader of the LaRouche Movement and was a controversial candidate in eight presidential elections from 1976 to 2004, according to the Lyndon LaRouche Collection 1979-1986 at the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg, Virginia.
LaRouche ran for office once on the U.S. Labor Party — a party he founded — in 1976 and seven times for the Democratic Party from 1980 to 2004.
In 1988, he was convicted of mail and tax fraud and was sentenced to serve 15 years in federal prison — a conviction LaRouche’s supporters said was fueled by his political opponents. LaRouche was released on parole in 1994.
“We want Mueller to be shut down, and for Trump to meet with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin — he’s met with [Chinese president] Xi Jinping already,” Sare said. “We put together a framework for peaceful cooperation on the planet.”
Several Cairo residents called Town Clerk Sherry True on Thursday to complain about verbal fighting between the activists and people passing by, True said.
“If it’s political, people get upset about it,” she said.
After the complaints, police officers approached the booth to get the assembler’s information, but did not issue any tickets or violations.
Cairo Town Police officers declined to comment.
“When an officer gets called to the scene, they have to write a report,” Sare said. “Sometimes people call, but here we are, peaceably assembled on the public sidewalk. The idea that someone would call the police to remove these people, that to me is outrageous.
“It’s America, people have a First Amendment right.”
The county owns Cairo’s Main Street and its sidewalk, which is public property where people can exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully protest, Town Supervisor Dan Benoit said.
The town does not have local laws or regulations that limit or restrict someone’s ability to peacefully protest on public property, he said.
“As long as they’re not violating any local, state or county laws and they’re not violent, the protest can just go forward,” Benoit said Friday. “If someone’s threatening someone, with violence or something... or they’re in the street blocking traffic, that’s a violation of the criminal law. Those are actions that are independent of the whole right to protest.”
The postmaster at the Cairo Post Office declined to comment.
Mueller was appointed in May 2017 by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead a law enforcement investigation of alleged Russian or foreign influence in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“It’s definitely polarizing, but you’re getting people to say, ‘I don’t like what’s being done to him [Trump],’ said Sare, who has worked as a volunteer organizer for LaRouche for 20 years in New Jersey, New York City, Pennsylvania, Florida and California.
Sare said his campaign is nonpartisan.
“It’s the rejection of the party system that got Trump elected and that LaRouche has been very much talking about,” he said.
The Washington Post contributed to this story.