Former Democratic state representative Barry Silver yelled into the megaphone, “Donald Trump promised to unite the country. We will now be united under common opposition and revulsion against everything he stands for.”
The Boca Raton rabbi and 20 plus protestors held a mock funeral for American democracy on Friday to oppose President Donald Trump, who was sworn into office hours before that. From noon to 2 p.m., the mock-funeral's mock-mourners gathered in front of the West Palm Beach Trump Plaza condominium building on Flagler Drive, north of Okeechobee Boulevard. Trump does not own the property.
Silver gave the nearly 15-minute mock eulogy with an American flag-draped coffin behind him. “We are concerned with the deaths of civil rights for people who might be a little bit different, maybe come from somewhere else, maybe practice a different religion,” he said.
The mock funeral was organized by United Against Trump Pence, a group lead by Wellington resident Mark Offerman, who supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the Democratic Primary, but voted for Hillary Clinton in November.
UATP dubbed its protest Death of Democracy. “We have elected a dictator, a tyrannical person whose cabinet does not represent the people,” Offerman said. “They represent corporate interests.”
While demonstrators gathered under palm trees to protect themselves from what felt like 90-degree weather, drivers honked in support or yelled “Go Trump!” Many pro-Trump shouters drove pick-up trucks.
The heat and noise did not appear to bother 90-year-old Evy Shareff, who Offerman drove to the protest. Like other protesters, she supported Sanders in the primary and Clinton in November.
Shareff said she marched for civil rights in the 1960s. When given a megaphone, she told everyone, “I'm happy to see young people here. I'm sad I have to do this again.” She urged other attendees, whose ages ranged from early 20s to mid 60s, to get involved in local politics. Join city council and run for local office. “You have your youth. Use it. Don't let it go to waste,” she urged.
Volunteers for United Against Trump Pence, a Palm Beach County political group, hoist an American flag-draped casket meant to represent American democracy. More than 20 people showed up Friday afternoon at the West Palm Beach Trump Plaza to protest President Donald Trump's inauguration.
United volunteer Ian Wellinghurst, a Palm Beach State College student, would like the group to become more involved in the political process. “Personally, I wanna see it more like the Tea Party,” he said. “Others want to be more like Occupy Wall Street, make noise and cause a ruckus for Trump.”
Wellinghurst was talking about the strategy, not ideology, of the right-wing Tea Party movement that fueled right-wing conservatives' takeover of the Republican Party and Congress from 2010 onward. An online document called “Indivisible Guide” outlines successful Tea Party tactics, like going to legislators' public meetings to demand they oppose what Tea Partiers opposed. Its anonymous authors state they are former congressional staff members on their website, IndivisibleGuide.com.
For anyone who wants to get involved, Offerman said he plans to hold a UATP meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the West Palm Beach waterfront pier on Flagler Drive east of Flagler Park, which splits Clematis Street.
Another group of 20 plus protesters stood and waved signs at the intersection of Flagler Drive and Southern Boulevard from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Palm Beach Post reported. That protest was organized by Election Distress, led by Jody Gorran of Boynton Beach. Gorran met Offerman at UATP’s protest after 1 p.m.
UATP and South Florida Activism, another political group, plan to hold a women's march from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in solidarity with other Anti-Trump women’s marches around the world. The march is to begin at the Meyer Amphitheater in West Palm Beach.