FINAL UPDATE: Chanting “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has got to go,’’ 3,000 protesters marched down Flagler Drive on Saturday in a loud but mostly orderly display of discontent that shattered the usual calm of the city’s south end neighborhoods.
Several hundred protesters marched east over the Southern Boulevard bridge just after 7 p.m. and made it to within 25 yards of Mar-a-Lago, where Trump was attending a Red Cross charity ball.
At 8 p.m., a fireworks display for the charity lighted the sky above, casting a glow on the 300 protesters who gathered across the street from an armored security vehicle parked at Mar-a-Lago’s south service entrance.
About 9 p.m., the crowds began to disperse. With the protest winding down, check palmbeachpost.com for further updates on the protest and Red Cross Ball.
9:15 p.m. UPDATE: Protesters are clearing out of the area along Southern Boulevard near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, where the president and first lady are spending the weekend and attending the 60th annual Red Cross Ball tonight. Palm Beach police officials have told everyone, including Trump supporters, that they must leave Bingham Island. The Palm Beach Police Department tweeted that “so far, everyone has been peaceful.”
8:25 p.m. UPDATE: Anti-Trump protesters are being allowed to continue their rally near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, as more police in riot gear are being brought into the area. A group of pro-Trump demonstrators also is in the area near the club, positioned on Bingham Island, which sits in the Intracoastal along Southern Boulevard between West Palm Beach and the estate.
While both demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, there have been a few tense moments as the two sides engage.
All of those gathered are being cautioned that the tender soon will raise the bridge for a passing boat.
8 p.m. UPDATE: Protesters continue to rally just south of a Secret Service roadblock next to President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, as guests arrive at the estate for the 60th annual Red Cross Ball being held there tonight.
While some of the anti-Trump protesters crossed the Southern Boulevard bridge to demonstrate near the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club, many turned back to return to Trump Plaza, where the march originated.
The Secret Service shut down South Ocean Boulevard near Mar-a-Lago for the weekend. Palm Beach police and Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies are the scene and have set up a temporary barricade between the protesters and the club.
Trump supporters in passing vehicles honked their horns, with Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” playing from one car. Protesters carrying signs and chanting slogans lined both sides of the bridge as cars passed.
7:15 p.m. UPDATE: Residents who live along the route of an anti-Trump march in West Palm Beach are popping out of their homes to watch protesters pass. One person told The Post she decided to host a “protester watch party.”
Some of Trump’s supporters also are demonstrating along the route, while others gathered on Bingham Island next to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
6:30 p.m. UPDATE: About 4,000 protesters are marching from downtown West Palm Beach to a park across the Intracoastal from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, according to a West Palm Beach police officer at the scene.
Other onlookers estimate a smaller crowd, perhaps closer to 3,000. Carey O’Donnell, owner of local public relations firm The O’Donnell Agency, posted a bird’s-eye-view photo of the crowd to Facebook that shows a Coast Guard boat sitting in the water just at the head of the crowd.
Meanwhile, hundreds of pro-Trump demonstrators are stationed on Bingham Island, just south of the destination of the anti-Trump march.
6:15 p.m. UPDATE: As the sun sets in West Palm Beach, two sets of demonstrators appear to be headed for a meeting near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
A pro-Trump group has been gathered on Bingham Island along Southern Boulevard near Mar-a-Lago since this afternoon, and an anti-Trump group is marching south from Trump Plaza in downtown West Palm Beach. The anti-Trump march, dubbed “The March to Mar-a-Lago,” will end just north of Bingham Island at a small, public park across the Intracoastal from Mar-a-Lago, where Trump is spending the weekend.
As the two groups gather near Southern Boulevard, several hundreds guests will begin funneling into the area for the 60th annual Red Cross Ball tonight at Mar-a-Lago.
6 p.m. UPDATE: Spotted at the March to Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach: Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, whose district includes central and southern Palm Beach County.
5:45 p.m. UPDATE: Palm Beach Public Safety Director Kirk Blouin said he expected some pro-Trump demonstrators at Bingham Island on Saturday, but he didn’t know how many. He said they’d be allowed to stay along Southern Boulevard.
“As long as they don’t get in the roadway,” Blouin said. “It’s going to be a constant battle, just reminding people who keep wanting to move further in the roadway.”
In a few hours, anti-Trump protesters were expected to descend on the island after marching south along Flagler Drive from Trump Plaza.
“We’re not going to keep them off the island,” Blouin said. “They’re more than welcome to come over here.”
Protest organizers have said they plan to gather at a small, public park across the Intracoastal from Mar-a-Lago, where President Trump is spending the weekend and is expected to attend the 60th annual Red Cross Ball tonight.
5:25 p.m. UPDATE: While protesters march down South Flagler Drive for the March to Mar-a-Lago, a group of President Donald Trump’s supporters gathered on Bingham Island sharing their love of the president.
“I appreciate everything he has done for this country,” said Jennifer Eady, a German immigrant who said she has lived in the U.S. for 20 years. “I’m a small business owner and I’m just grateful that he’s here.”
The group of about two dozen people stood along the north side of Southern Boulevard near the bridge closest to Mar-a-Lago, where in a few hours several hundred people are expected to arrive for the 60th annual Red Cross Ball.
Cars driving by honked their horns in support, with the occasional exception.
Tony Ganz and his wife Susan Ganz held signs and waved to passersby shortly before 4:30 p.m. The West Palm Beach couple came “just to show support for the president,” Tony Ganz said.
Their neighbor Gloria Poorvin also tagged along.
“I’m supporting Trump for several reasons,” Poorvin said. “We want to be positive. We don’t want to be negative.”
Their destination: a small, public park about 2.5 miles away, just across the Intracoastal from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
West Palm Beach police officers worked to keep the growing crowd off of Flagler Drive to make way for passing vehicles.
Post reporter Joe Capozzi said the protest has been “loud but peaceful” as onlookers have seen an increase in police presence in the area. Increased security is par for the course this weekend, as Trump plans to stay at Mar-a-Lago through Monday morning. It’s his first visit to the area since his Jan. 20 inauguration. He and First Lady Melania Trump are expected to attend the 60th annual Red Cross Ball at Mar-a-Lago tonight. Earlier today, Trump slipped away from his estate for a quick round of golf at his West Palm Beach golf course.
4:30 p.m. UPDATE: Protesters opposed to President Donald Trump’s policies are sharing their photos and videos on social media as they prepare to march from Trump Plaza in downtown West Palm Beach to a small, public park just across the Intracoastal from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.
Protest organizers on Facebook asked attendees to “bring signs, glowing or light up attire, flags, etc.” Several people posted in the Facebook event with videos of flashing signs. One, posted by co-organizer South Florida Activism, said, “Proud to live in a nation of immigrants.” The sign is bordered by blinking white lights.
Tony Plakas, executive director of Compass, based in Lake Worth, posted a photo on Instagram of his dog wearing a rainbow top hat and with glow sticks attached to its collar.
Marchers were parking in a lot at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, just south of Trump Plaza.
4:10 p.m. UPDATE: A crowd grew on Bingham Island near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, as his supporters gathered to wave signs. One woman said she drove up from Miami to attend the demonstration.
To the north, a crowd also grew near Trump Plaza, where anti-Trump protesters are gathering. They planned to march south to a small, public park just across the Intracoastal from Mar-a-Lago and just north of where Trump’s supporters were waving signs. Bingham Island was the original destination for the protest march, before organizers tweaked their plans because of security concerns as the expected crowd grew past 2,000 people.
Check back here for live updates from the march and its effects on local traffic and neighborhoods. Protesters plan to march from Trump Plaza the 2.4 miles to Greenwood Greenway, a small public park just across the Intracoastal from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club.
The president and first lady are spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago and are expected to attend the 60th annual Red Cross Ball this evening. Original protest plans put the march ending on Bingham Island, which sits in the Intracoastal and connects the two pieces of the Southern Boulevard causeway. However, organizers moved the destination for the march to Greenwood Greenway because of safety concerns as the crowd continued to swell.
Security has been ramped up near Mar-a-Lago, with the Secret Service shutting down South Ocean Boulevard on the island from South County Road to Southern Boulevard. Only residents inside the security zone with identification will be able to go past the temporary roadblocks.