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Former Democratic presidential hopeful promotes festive Trump boycott
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley gestures after speaking during the Democratic National Convention. O'Malley is calling on Congress and Americans to boycott the upcoming St. Patrick's Day gathering at the White House in part due to President Donald Trump's immigration policies. (Getty Images/Nicholas Kamm)

Former Democratic presidential hopeful promotes festive Trump boycott

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has a new idea for a protest against President Donald Trump — and it involves shamrocks.

O'Malley, a 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful, urged Irishmen, Irishwomen and his fellow Americans to sign a petition pledging to boycott the St. Patrick's Day gathering at the White House on March 16.

"Our tradition, the tradition of immigrant Irish people in America, is a very different tradition than what the immigrant-bashing Donald Trump and white supremacists with Irish surnames like Stephen Bannon are offering our country," O'Malley said in a YouTube video Tuesday.

"The country we carry in our hearts is a more generous and compassionate nation," he added.

The #NoShamrocks pledge, which is live until March 15, had nearly 400 signatories by time of publication.

It states:

No shamrocks please for the immigrant-hating Mr. Trump. No tri-color flag pins for White supremacists with Irish surnames such as Stephen Bannon. Let's show Trump how many Irish Americans and fellow Americans oppose his policies. Make your Irish ancestors smile.

We are not a deportation nation that breaks up immigrant families and separates parents from their children. As John F. Kennedy said, "We are a nation of immigrants."

Our diversity is our greatest strength.

O'Malley is promoting the petition on social media Tuesday afternoon, calling on members of Congress and the Irish prime minister to join in the boycott as well. His verified Twitter account is sharing tweets from other people who have pledged support.

The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Taoiseach Enda Kenny is facing mounting calls to boycott the trip to the White House in March especially because of Trump's call to ban immigration from several Muslim-majority nations.

According to tradition, the prime minister presents the U.S. president with a bowl of shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.

Another petition saying it wants to make clear that, should Kenny attend the annual event, it is "not in my name" has garnered more than 38,000 signatures.

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