Protests across Bay Area against President Trump's appointment of new attorney general

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By Bay City News Service

Activists across the Bay Area this evening are protesting President Donald Trump's replacement of his attorney general after embattled former Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday. 

Trump has since appointed Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who protesters claim is a Trump "loyalist" who will stifle the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

There are reports Whitaker will not recuse himself from the Russia investigation despite Democrats calls for him to do so. Whitaker's job would normally have gone to Rod Rosenstein, who is the deputy attorney general. 

They are calling for a "rapid response" to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the investigation, and they are organizing in hundreds of United States cities as well as Amsterdam, Rome, Toronto and other international locations.

Some 900 protests were scheduled nationwide. They were expected begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time in Monterey, San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Richmond and smaller cities. 

The activists have identified themselves as, a community-built movement that has organized the international protests.

"The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation," the group said in a news release. "Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice."

"What happened yesterday is the President declared war on the constitution and the rule of law in the United States of America," said Tom Steyer with Next-Gen America at the San Francisco Civic Center protest.

Many at the event spoke out about President Trump's intentions in firing the attorney general. 

"He could completely quash it and we might not hear about it again, so it's very serious," said Mercury Schroeppel of San Francisco. 

A large gathering also took place at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza.