Attorney General William Barr has been gaining negative attention due to a prison sentence reduction of American political consultant, lobbyist, and author Roger Stone. Citizens involved in a group called the “Visibility Brigade” planned a protest to stand against Barr and create more visibility about the national crisis happening in the United States.
In Nov. 2019, Stone was convicted of seven counts of witness tampering, obstructing official proceedings and lying to investigators. Stone was originally sentenced to 9 years in prison, but the sentence was overturned by the Department of Justice (DOJ), headed by Attorney General William Barr. Under Barr, the sentence was overruled and shortened to 3 years and 3 months.
The reduced sentence prompted all four DOJ prosecutors to withdraw from the case in retaliation to Barr. The prosecutors saw this move by Barr to be politically motivated in order the help Stone, a Trump ally.
As the weeks unfolded, more and more politicians and individuals in the judicial sector protested this move. The “Visibility Brigade” took it upon themselves to showcase their anger towards the attorney General by putting up banners with the phrase “Honk 4 Barr 2 Resign” on a bridge overlooking Route 4 West.
In the eyes of the organizers, the bridge overlooking Route 80 has been an ideal place to spread their message. “I’ve driven past here many times, and I always imagined that this would be a good spot to connect with other people, and this is a public walkway, and such this should be used by the public,” said Organizer Dana Glazer.
The highway banners was a piece of a continuous protest. The protest against Barr, which started in mid-February, will last up until the presidential election in November. The group plans to meet during rush hour at the bridge connecting the Bergen Town Center parking lot that is overlooking Route 4 West.
“The idea is that we do this on a weekly basis to remind people of the emergency we are in and what is happening on a weekly basis,” said Grazler. “Not everybody knows what Barr means, a lot of people do, but not everybody does. So perhaps some people will then go home, look it up, and understand why we put this [sign] up the way we did.” Grazier then added they are trying to be informative, engage with the public, and get citizens to become civil minded, which in their eyes the country desperately needs.
This is something that not only Grazler feels, but the other members of the organization do as well. “We need to be visible; we need to speak up against Trump and his regime, and that what we’re doing,” said Visibility Brigade member Pat Henry. With the organization just 6 months old, they have already made an impression.
Throughout the rush hour, many cars honked their horns and raised their arms.
“It makes you feel empowered because you know that other people are seeing and reacting, and it’s giving them a voice,” said Henry. The group plans to continue their effort to have their voice heard.