WORCESTER - Activists lined lower Shrewsbury Street near Via Italian Table Thursday night to call for the protection of the special counsel investigating the 2016 presidential election.

People held signs and chanted "No one's above the law" and "Free press, free speech."

The rally was part of a nationwide mobilization in the wake of the resignation this week of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Donald Trump has named Matthew Whitaker acting attorney general, a move critics say could stall or or jeopardize the investigation led by Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Andres Peschiera of Holden said that while Democrats this week reclaimed a majority in the House of Representatives, which could provide some protection for the Mueller investigation, there is still two months left of a fully Republican-controlled Congress.

"Mueller has been there for us," Mr. Peschiera said. "Now Mueller needs us."