A crowd of roughly 100 protesters gathered at Capitol Square on Saturday to demand the resignation of Gov. Ralph Northam over his support of abortion legislation and the racist photo found on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.
The rally took place under a cold drizzle on the steps of the Capitol as state lawmakers gathered inside and worked to close out the 2019 legislative session. Protesters marched toward the Executive Mansion, where they chanted, “No means no. Governor Northam has to go.”
“We must no longer sit back and be placated,” said the Rev. James R. Kelly, president of the Fauquier County NAACP. “We must no longer sit back and let someone’s party determine our support.”
Miles Johnson, who traveled from Hampton, said he felt Northam had yet to issue a remorseful apology over the photo.
“When you do wrong, and try to stand on it, that’s wrong,” Johnson said. “He doesn’t understand the sensitivity of it.”
Other speakers and attendees honed in on Northam’s support for a bill, sponsored by Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, that would have removed some restrictions for third-trimester abortions.
“We say no to racism, no to infanticide, no to Gov. Ralph Northam,” said Doc Reed, who led attendees in the chant.
Doris Dippel drove from Manassas to attend the rally in opposition to Northam’s views on abortion.
“I just believe enough is enough when it comes to abortion,” Dippel said.
The renewed calls for Northam’s resignation came as lawmakers were on the verge of closing out what Northam called a productive session that featured agreements on taxation, underage smoking and environmental protections.