PALATINE (CBS) — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a monthly meeting of the Palatine Township Republican organization to capture Congressman Peter Roskam’s attention.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports.
The protesters consisted of constituents from the 6th District, which Congressman Roskam represents. Those individuals, who identify as Democrats, Republicans and independents, demanded that the Congressman hold a town hall meeting to address concerns about his support of the Donald Trump administration’s policies.
“We need him to listen to us and put his foot down on the Muslim ban, on healthcare, you name it,” said protester Laina Stilo.
However, a meeting has not been scheduled.
Roskam spokesman David Pasch, said they have not been able to schedule a meeting because the Congressman “maintains one of the busiest districts of any Member of Congress.”
Yet on Saturday, the Congressman appeared during the monthly meeting for the Palatine Township Republican organization. This, as a result, brought the protesters out.
Aaron Del Mar, a committeeman of the PTRO, said he hasn’t seen a crowd like Saturday’s before.
“We are here the first Saturday of every month, and this is the first time we’ve seen them in seven years,” he said.
Attorney Hannah Garst, who lives in Palatine, volunteered at O’Hare airport last weekend to help passengers detained because of President Trump’s executive order. She was surprised by Roskam’s response.
“I called his office immediately after O’Hare and said hey you haven’t said anything on this Trump ban, and I’m shocked,” she said.
The protest remained peaceful for the most part. Palatine police briefly removed one man for trying to go in the meeting without permission.
After the protests, Pasch did not acknowledge the local constituents who were protesting, instead referred to them as part of a national group, known as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In a statement he said:
“Peter is no stranger to the DCCC. These national groups are free to come into our community and exercise their first amendment rights, but it’s not going to keep him from meeting with constituents. He’s focused on representing the people of the western and northwestern suburbs in Washington, D.C., not the other way around.”