Thousands March Near Mar-a-Lago, Protest Trump's Travel Ban | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Thousands March Near Mar-a-Lago, Protest Trump's Travel Ban

Protesters shouted anti-Trump slogans and set up a flag-draped coffin that they said represented the death of democracy

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    Both supporters and protesters of President Donald Trump are gathering outside his Mar-a-Lago estate in nearby Palm Beach on Saturday. (Published Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017)

    About three thousand demonstrators marched Saturday near President Donald Trump's Florida estate to protest his now-blocked executive order temporarily limiting immigration.

    The protest began with a rally outside Trump Plaza in West Palm Beach. They marched two miles to Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, where the International Red Cross was holding a fundraiser.

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    Protesters shouted anti-Trump slogans and set up a flag-draped coffin that they said represented the death of democracy.

    Shortly before 8 p.m., several hundred people crossed a bridge and demonstrated in front of Mar-a-Lago. About two dozen law-enforcement officers in riot gear blocked the end of the bridge but there were no arrests. The protest ended around 9 p.m.

    Erica Rudolph, a West Palm Beach private investigator, said if Trump has no opposition he'll turn the U.S. into Russia where dissent is not allowed.

    "It is time for all of us to stand up and shout and say 'We are not going to let you take our rights,'" Rudolph said. She held a placard reading "Too many issues for just one sign."

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    Alison Corin, a Delray Beach homemaker, said that as an immigrant from England she needed to stand up for refugees. She held a sign saying, "Remember the St. Louis," referring to a ship carrying Jewish refugees that the U.S. turned back and returned to Nazi Germany.

    "I'm married to a Jewish guy so this is important to me," she said. "There's the whole vulgarity of (Trump). He's nasty."

    Some pro-Trump counter-demonstrators also came out. They included a group of about five students from Palm Beach Atlantic University, an evangelical Christian school.

    Travis Miller, a student from Council Bluffs, Iowa, said, "They have a right to protest, but we've come out here to show our patriotism. Trump just got elected and we are all for America."

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    About 700 guests were expected to attend the white-tie fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. Women arrived in sequined ball gowns, some wearing tiaras on their heads and hefty diamonds on their fingers. One man lifted his pants leg to reveal a pair of Trump socks.

    Cocktail hour on the lawn ended with fireworks before the guests slowly filed in to the ballroom for the main event, followed by the president and first lady.

    A federal judge in Seattle on Friday temporarily invalidated Trump's ban on travel to the U.S. from seven primarily Muslim nations. Trump replied Saturday on Twitter, calling Judge James L. Robart a "so-called judge" and the ruling "ridiculous."

    The protest was organized by Women's March Florida and South Florida Activism.

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    Police said Frank Wetzel, 61, was pulled over after blowing through a stop sign. Police said he started fidgeting with something next to him, making the officer suspicious. He was allegedly later found with a machete and handgun.

    (Published Monday, April 24, 2017)