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Setauket rally joins nationwide anti-Trump protest

Diane Hyde, left, of Lake Ronkonkoma, and Ella

Diane Hyde, left, of Lake Ronkonkoma, and Ella Baldwin, of Riverhead, chant during a "Not my President's Day" rally held alongside 25A in Setauket, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

About 100 Long Islanders held a rally in Setauket on Monday — joining protesters in New York and other cities nationwide — to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s month-old administration.

The demonstrators, including children, gathered at the corner of Route 25A and Bennetts Road to denounce Trump’s policies, echoing the “Not My President’s Day” rallies held in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.

“No Trump. No KKK. No fascists in the U.S.A.,” the protesters chanted.

Many held up homemade signs that included “Keep Calm And Resist Trump,” “Is Putin Our President,” and “I’ve seen better cabinets @IKEA”.

Tamara Begel, 38, of South Setauket, came with her daughter, Rivkah Begel, 11.

She said she worried that rights Americans have long enjoyed, including a woman’s right to choose, may be taken away. “This world has me scared, and I am really upset that this is the world I am passing on to my children, ” Begel said.

Her daughter, Rivkah, a fifth-grader at Arrowhead Elementary School, said she feared that Trump will drag the nation into a nuclear war.

“I am here because I kind of got a little scared when Trump became president because he kept talking about nuclear wars, and I am afraid of that kind of stuff,” said Rivkah.

Across the street, on the north side of 25A, about a dozen people showed up in support of Trump, holding signs that said the president will make America great again.

Howard Ross, 74, a retired NYPD officer and a Vietnam veteran, said he thinks Trump is doing a fine job.

“I like what he said he is going to do. He’s going to lower the debt. He’s going to get more people working. He’s going to vet the people who should come here,” said Ross, who said he was the son of an Italian immigrant. “Immigrants should come here, but they should be checked before they come.”

Occasionally, the two groups — with the anti-Trump greatly outnumbering the pro-Trump — shouted at each other across the road. Motorists driving through tooted their horns in a show of support for both sides.

Cliff Baldwin, 56, an artist from Aquebogue, came with his wife and daughter to oppose the Trump administration.

“His disrespect for a whole gender is intolerable and unacceptable,” said Baldwin, who held a “Dump Trump” sign.

Sue Bottigheimer, 77, of Stony Brook, a retired professor of literature, said she is particularly concerned about Trump’s relationship with Russia’s leader.

“Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are patriotic people and they want, I should think, America to be led by an American president who is not beholden to a foreign power, particular when that foreign power is as problematic as Russia is under Vladimir Putin,” she said.

The rally in Manhattan marked a third day of protests in New York City. City officials and organizers said it drew about 13,000 people.

About 1,000 people had gathered in Times Square on Sunday for the I Am Muslim Too rally, to show support for the Muslim community. And on Saturday, a mock funeral for the presidency was held in Washington Square Park.

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