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Peaceful Trump protesters demonstrate on U.S. Women’s Open course

Protesters with t-shirts that read

Protesters with t-shirts that read "USGA:Dump Sexist Trump" position themselves near the presidential viewing stand, behind, where President Donald Trump is watching the U.S. Women's Open Golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. July 16, 2017. Credit: AP / Carolyn Kaster

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Critics of President Donald Trump protested against him literally on his own turf, with a dozen of them wearing shirts with anti-Trump slogans while on the grounds of Trump National Golf Club.

Several peaceful demonstrations during the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open were capped by a stance from three women and a man wearing violet-colored shirts that said “USGA: Dump Sexist Trump,” looking directly into Trump’s skybox just after he arrived late Sunday afternoon.

They represented the women’s rights organization UltraViolet, which had petitioned the U.S. Golf Association to move the championship from the Trump-owned course in light of vulgar comments he had made about women. A day earlier, UltraViolet members and Trump supporters had demonstrated at a nearby public library, which had been designated the First Amendment protest area.

But protesters took an extra step Sunday, having bought tickets to attend the tournament. The UltraViolet members stood silently, looking toward the presidential box, after Trump arrived to loud cheers from supporters.

“We don’t want to distract the golfers. They’re underpaid as it is,” said UltraViolet consultant Melissa Byrne, adding that she was certain she caught Trump’s eye when she motioned to her own eyes and pointed toward him. She added that there seemed to be consternation in the box over the group’s brief presence.

“We’re not afraid of him. He might think he has all this power and he’s so strong, but we’re stronger than he is,” she said.

In a scene extremely rare for the genteel world of professional golf, a woman who identified herself as Victoria K., a Taiwanese immigrant from Harding, New Jersey, challenged the protesters, saying, “He’s a good man.”

Before Trump arrived at the course, seven women representing another local group stood side-by-side with single-lettered shirts that spelled out, “RESIST!” Next to them was a man with a shirt that said, “Elect a Clown, Expect a Circus.”

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