Escape from New York: protesters are scarce at Trump’s Jersey retreat

Escape from New York: protesters are scarce at Trump's Jersey retreat

The protesters who greeted Donald Trump in Manhattan on Thursday were nowhere to be found 40 miles west in Bedminster, New Jersey on Friday.

Bedminster is home to the Trump National golf club, also known as “Camp David North”, where the president is staying this weekend, and where he and his family might spend many weekends over the summer.

“He’s popular around here,” said neighbor Amy Anderson-Matinho, who, like many residents, got their first taste of presidential-style disruption when Trump spent three days here as president-elect, interviewing potential cabinet members.

The president’s frequent trips to his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago – the “Winter White House” – have drawn criticism because of the cost to taxpayers, the impression of the president serving his own business interests, and for disruption to local businesses. The relative subtlety and isolation of Trump’s Bedminster property, Anderson-Matinho said, would make protesters’ jobs more difficult.

“We only had about three protesters during the golf international,” she said. “The roads here are teeny-tiny lanes, so it’s hard to get much of an audience.”

Such semi-bucolic reverie could be curtailed on Saturday. A coalition of progressive groups plans to stage a “People’s Motorcade”: a drive-by, horns blaring, at the main gate of Trump’s estate.

Membership dues at the club, which was once the home of disgraced auto executive John DeLorean, run to $18,000 a year – on top of a $350,000 joining fee. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were married there in 2009, and Trump has said he wants to be buried there. Some protesters are likely to argue that Trump’s use of such a property for government business is another promotion of his own interests.

No protesters were in evidence on Friday. Two members of the planned People’s Motorcade, however, told the local Courier News they would disrupt the president’s weekend peace.


“We don’t want Bedminster turning into another Mar-a-Lago,” retired municipal worker Jim Girvan said, adding that he and his wife, Sharon, wanted to make it “uncomfortable to spend money on the golf course”.

The women’s advocacy group UltraViolet said it had commissioned a truck with a digital billboard to circle Bedminster, showing the message: “Abortion Access is More Popular than Trump”.

“Since Donald Trump is so obsessed with his own ratings and popularity,” co-founder Shaunna Thomas told, “we could think of no better way of trolling him than surrounding his golf course where he’ll vacation all summer with a clear message: America rejects Trump and his agenda.”

It is unlikely that Trump’s immediate neighbors will protest. His property is surrounded by horse farms and estates belonging to Wall Street financiers and other members of the 1%. The former presidential candidate Steve Forbes lives nearby. Read more from the source: theguardian

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