Dozens of political activists from around Michigan gathered in Brighton for a candlelight vigil to peacefully fight the corruption they see in government.

Roughly 75 people from Livingston, Oakland, and Ingham Counties formed a picket line in front U.S. Congressman Mike Bishop’s office on Grand River, Wednesday evening. Chants of “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” and “This is what democracy looks like” were heard along the street. The event was one of several “Confront Corruption: Demand Democracy” vigils held across the country in the wake of President Donald Trump’s and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s summit in Finland.

Local resident Peggy Van Sickle was responsible for bringing the demonstration to Brighton. She said she got to the point where she said she thought “enough was enough and somebody (needs) to do something.” Despite never organizing an event like this before, that someone was her. Van Sickle was applauded by the crowd for making it happen in less than 48 hours.

The crowd marched with anti-Trump, Putin, and Bishop signs, while cheering for both supporters and those in opposition of their protest driving by. As the sun went down, the crowd gathered in front of the steps to Bishop’s office to share what being a patriot means to them. Candidates running for office led the discussions off, but as the night grew darker more residents stepped up to speak. Brighton native Jesse Arquette shared his feelings on the Trump administration, saying he was sick of the hate and the prejudice. Geologist Emily Duthinh spoke about family values, being a first generation immigrant, and Trump taking children away from their families. Thirty year Howell school teacher and Brighton resident John Morgan shared the core values of democracy he taught to students for decades, including truth from the government and diversity as being a thing to be celebrated.

While Bishop issued a statement Wednesday calling Russia, "one of the most threatening adversaries facing our nation" and that he stood behind American intelligence agencies and voted to expand economic sanctions on Russia, that was not enough for the demonstrators. They encouraged each other throughout the night, that if they aren’t happy with the trajectory they see the country on, they need to be the ones to spark the change at the polls this August and November. (MK)