MIAMI (WSVN) - Emboldened by a growing chorus of sentiment against President Donald Trump, protesters took to the streets of Downtown Miami and West Palm Beach to let their voices be heard, Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of people showed up at Bayfront Park, along Biscayne Boulevard, for a massive rally that gave way to a protest that shut down several streets.
“If we stayed home, behind a screen, that’s not taking care of business,” said protester Edgar Rondon, who sported a rainbow peace sign painted on his forehead.
Demonstrators held up signs and chanted as they marched down city blocks. Miami Police cruisers escorted the protesters to keep everyone safe as drivers honked their horns in support.
“We have the personnel, adequately, to be able to prevent anything from happening, any casualties,” said Miami Police Officer Yelitza Cedano. “We’re just trying to maintain this as peaceful as possible.”
Miami Police recorded aerial video showing demonstrators filling an entire block and posted it to social media.
Meanwhile, protesters are marching toward the Winter White House at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, where the president and first lady Melania Trump are spending the weekend. This is the president’s first visit to the property since taking office.
7News cameras captured several hundred protesters near Trump Plaza, at Okeechobee Boulevard and Flagler Street, in West Palm Beach. They marched about one and a half mile south to Southern Boulevard, which sits directly across the Intracoastal Waterway from Mar-a-Lago.
Protesters told 7News they are speaking out against moves made by Trump. “Everything that he has been putting in, whether it’s the executive orders, with the things that he’s tweeting, with the calls he’s making, he is heading us into a dangerous, dangerous situation, both domestically and internationally,” said West Palm Beach protester Judy Zieland.
Back in Miami, demonstrator Jack Lieberman echoed Zieland’s concern. “He is trying to turn back the clock 50 years,” he said. “He’s harming the environment. He’s disenfranchising women, immigrants, minorities, people of color. I’m Jewish; I’m concerned about the upsurge in anti-Semitism that we’ve seen.”
The marches take place as a power struggle between the commander in chief and his detractors continues. Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle temporarily blocked the Trumnp administration’s travel ban on people from seven predominantly Muslim countries after Washington state and Minnesota urged a nationwide hold on the executive order.
“I find that the balance of equities favors the states, and lastly, I find that a temporary restraining order is in public interest,” said Robart.
The Department of Homeland Security has suspended all actions to implement the immigration order, and airports nationwide are checking travelers as if the executive order never existed.
The White House said they will file an emergency motion to stop Robart’s temporary order. Saturday morning, Trump took to Twitter to express his displeasure.
Rally participants told 7News they’re fighting back peacefully against the president’s Cabinet picks, as well as policies ranging from health care to education. “I don’t want any racist in the White House,” said Miami protester Sholom Neistein. “I don’t want someone who’s xenophobic, who’s against Muslims, who’s against refugees, someone who doesn’t respect women. Why would I want that? Why would I want that as an uncle who has many, many nieces. How am I supposed to tell them that the leader of this great nation of ours is sexist?”
“This is the United States of America. The repercussions of what we do are global. The implications are huge,” said Miami protester Alessandra Mondolfi. “It’s scary.”
By 5 p.m., protesters began to disperse. Some of them stayed remained on the lawn near Bayfront Park and out of traffic.
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