Watch: Groups protest President Trump’s attendance at Jamestown celebration

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 19:25:21-04

JAMESTOWN, Va. - Lawmakers from the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus will boycott all events during this week's commemoration of the 400th anniversary of a representative legislative body meeting in America, they said in a statement.

President Trump is spoke at Jamestown Settlement on Tuesday morning.

"The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President - who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders," they said in the statement.

Tuesday morning, an event named "Rally against President Trump" happened in Jamestown near the planned set of events.

That group said it was a peaceful planned protest because "President Trump has shown a blatant disregard for the role of government and the rule of law in our country."

Democratic lawmakers had previously threatened to boycott. A spokesperson for the Virginia House Democratic caucus said it was up to individual lawmakers to decide if they want to attend, but leadership will not be there.

"My reaction is that certainly this is our democracy in action and we all have a right to make our position and make our statement," said Kathy Spangler, the Executive Director of American Evolution. She's been organizing the event.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Republican state leaders invited Trump last year.

She notes previous presidents have attended events at Jamestown, including President George W. Bush in 2007.

"We’re grateful and honored to have President Trump coming," Spangler said.

Tuesday's event began 10 a.m. Another event earlier in the morning featured Gov. Northam.

"Representative government started here at Jamestown in 1619," Spangler said. "It seems almost imaginable because we put our focus on the founding era, but in 1619 people had voice to government for the first time."