(KMSP) - Congressman Keith Ellison announced on Twitter he will be among the growing number of Democrat politicians who are boycotting President-elect Donald Trump's Inauguration Day.
Ellison tweeted out Monday that he would not be attending the event and instead will be standing with Georgia Representative John Lewis, who earlier stated he would boycott the event because he didn't see Trump as a "legitimate" president due to the Russia hacking. Trump responded to Lewis on Twitter by tweeting Lewis was "all talk, no action."
“This really is a consequence of the degree of polarization we have in our society that again is far greater than 4 years ago or even 20, 30 years ago,” said David Schultz, professor of political science at Hamline University.
Schultz says the last time the United States had a significant number of lawmakers boycott the presidential inauguration was in March 1861 when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office. Schultz adds boycotting Trump is a win-win for Ellison specifically because his district is so overwhelming only democratic and because of his goals to become the next Democratic Committee Chair.
“I suspect by boycotting this he integrates himself with the real liberals of the party and with the people who are saying what the Democrats really need to do is fight,” said Schultz. “The only place I think it hurts him is if he stays in Congress and tries to work across the aisles.”
Ellison has represented the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota since 2007.
Inauguration Day is on Jan. 20.
In the Twin Cities, there are a number of protests and events set for the days leading up to and after Trump's inauguration.
Thursday, Jan. 19
Members of St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 will lead a rally outside LEAP High School, which serves students new to the U.S. Parents, students and community members will join teachers in calling for public schools to serve as “sanctuaries” that protect students from bullying, racism and deportation.
The “Rally to Protect Our Students and Our Public Schools” will start at 3:45 pm. outside LEAP High School, 631 Albert St. N.
Friday, Jan. 20
In the early-morning hours of Inauguration Day, janitors who clean Home Depot stores in the Twin Cities will go on strike, protesting not only the poverty wages paid by their cleaning-contractor employer, but Trump’s anti-worker agenda as well.
Striking workers are members of the Twin Cities worker center CTUL. Join them on the picket line beginning at 5:30 a.m. at the Quarry store, 1520 New Brighton Blvd., Minneapolis.
Friday afternoon, organizers plan to march in opposition to Trump’s “racist agenda,” from the intersection of Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue to Minneapolis City Hall. The “Resist from Day 1” march will begin at 2 p.m., with plans to reach City Hall by 5 p.m.
Several unions and labor organizations have endorsed the action, including AFSCME Council 5, SEIU Local 26 and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation.
Saturday, Jan. 21
In solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington happening the same day, activists will stage the “Women’s March Minnesota” in St. Paul, culminating with a rally on the Capitol grounds.
The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and IATSE Local 13 are co-sponsors of the march, set to launch at 11 a.m. from St. Paul College.