POINT PLEASANT BEACH – It was billed as one of two rallies in support of President Donald J. Trump but it had more of an atmosphere of a beach party – which was fine for those who turned out for the Flag Day gathering.
About 20 Trump supporters turned out in shorts, bathing suits, red hats and red, white and blue attire for the oceanfront event which ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the borough. A second rally was held at the Middletown Shopping Center Kings Highway that day.
“The idea is to get people to come out and gather with those who support Donald Trump for president and to network, have a good time and talk and share different ideas with people,” event organizer Daryl Brooks, Trenton, said.
“We’re all having a nice time and we’ve been organizing and protesting to open up New Jersey so we are out here networking,” he added.
On Memorial Day a large rally was held at the borough’s Silver Lake Parking lot calling for a relaxation if not full out cancellation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and quarantine citing the economic impact on businesses throughout the state and questioning the medical data that was used to make that decision.
A number of small American flags were placed on the beach and birthday cake was served up to attendees in honor of the President’s birthday which happened to fall on Flag Day, June 14. A Trump re-election banner was flying as well.
“We really just want people to come out in support and enjoy themselves,” Brooks added.
The rally was not organized in conjunction with any county or local Republican political organizations but Brooks said he expected some members of Republican groups to stop by.
He and Frank Cott had organized the two events along with Michael Shapiro who was present on the beach and who also came out for the Memorial Day protest.
“We’ve been protesting since March for businesses to reopen and against the tyranny of Murphy and his executive order and the stay at home order. We were fighting for small businesses. We’ve been doing all this work – night, day 24/7 – and today is just about coming out having a piece of cake, flying the flag for Flag Day, celebrate President Trump’s birthday. Today is just a happy day,” Ayla Wolf said. She organized the Memorial Day protest held in the borough.
“Our rallies include everyone. We are for everyone. Trump has never really been a Republican; he isn’t really a Democrat either. He is anti-establishment and we are celebrating him for that. Republicans hate him, Democrats hate him but he’s really not either party,” Wolf said.
Sporting a red cap with the number 45 embroidered in white, Candace Moore noted that along with Brooks, she was not the only black American to be part of the rally. “I’m new to the group. I’m from Pennsylvania but I have friends around here and I wanted to come and hang out with some fellow Trump supporters. It encourages you to stand your ground. I will be voting for Trump again in November.”
Moore said she felt governors had overridden “our constitutional rights by shutting down our businesses and our state. Even in the wake of a national emergency you can’t violate the constitution. I’m not afraid to say I’m a Trump supporter. I used to live in Philadelphia which is a very liberal town so if I can wear my hat there, I can wear it anywhere.”
Shapiro said “we’re here to celebrate the President’s birthday and support Jenkinson’s Beach.”
Representing Latinas for Trump was Rowan University student Diana Jiminez of Glassboro who said she supported the president’s position on immigration.
“I think the immigration rights should be stricter. I came from Columbia and don’t think it’s fair for immigrants to come and get a job right away. My mother has a master’s in international business and we all had to wait 10 years to come here,” she said.
“I think this country has been going down a bad course for many years and the establishment government has let it all happen. Trump is the first person not associated with them and never took any money from them so he’s doing what he feels is best for the country,” David Rasp of Point Pleasant said.
Brick resident Edward Xavier Young said he’s been to a number of rallies, protests and celebrations including a protest the day before at the governor’s “spacious compound in Middletown, one of his five mansions around the world but today is a day of happiness and celebration. It is President Trump’s 74th birthday and it is also Flag Day and it is also the anniversary of George Washington creating the United States Army.”
Young also said he felt the governor had overreached his authority concerning the shutdown of the state and business. “The people of New Jersey can’t wait to vote him out of office.”