Saturday 22nd July, 2017
sundays-final-round-of-the-us-womens-open-witnesses-protests-by-activist-groups-against-us-president-trump

NEW JERSEY, U.S. - During the final round of the U.S. Women's Open, activists groups staged protests against the U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Trump National Golf Club on Sunday. 

On Sunday afternoon, as Park Sung-hyun overcame a three-shot deficit to win the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in the suburban New Jersey hamlet of Bedminster, Trump’s protesters stole the show.

Local activists, who were sporting pink umbrellas on the warm Sunday, had messages spelled out on their white t-shirts as they posed in front of the Trump National clubhouse.

Earlier, women's groups angered by his campaign rhetoric and behavior they found to be misogynistic had made calls for moving America’s most prestigious women’s golf championship, which was awarded to Trump National in 2012, years before he officially entered politics.

However, the USGA said it was too late to relocate the tournament when the backlash over Trump started last year in earnest. 

Further, a report in USA Today revealed last week that Trump had threatened to sue the governing body if it moved the event.

Then, on Friday, the USGA said in a statement, “If the president of the United States decides to attend the US Women’s Open championship, we welcome him. It is the first time a sitting president has attended the US Women’s Open, and is only the third occurrence in our entire championships history.”

On Sunday, after three rounds went off without any trouble, the fourth round, when President Trump enter his private viewing box that looks out on the 15th green, 16th tee and 18th green, national group UltraViolet revealed a message on their purple tee-shirts that read ‘USGA: DUMP SEXIST TRUMP.’

Seven women wore one character each on their chest, that read “RESIST!" and then turned around and formed the message "This is not NORMAL.”

Trump, who arrived at the golf club on Friday afternoon along with his wife Melania and son Eric, along with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner and two of their children, marked his fourth visit to the bucolic township since taking office. 

A majority of the protests took place at the public library in Bedminster, four miles down the road from the sprawling 500-acre grounds of Trump National.

However, on Sunday, members of several protest groups paid $45 for grounds passes to take their message inside the gates.

Melissa Byrne of Philadelphia, a spokesperson for the UltraViolet group said, "Our shirts are our message. We want the USGA to dump sexist Trump because women and men deserve to make sure that they are safe and that sexual predators are not considered ambassadors of sports."

Byrne started organizing the protest nine months ago when Trump was shown making crude comments about women in the leaked Access Hollywood tape. 

She said, “You could tell he saw us. He looked at us, and then somebody else looked and had this really annoyed look. Security gets concerned, so we made sure the president was safe in his box before we removed our shirts. He came over to the glass to wave to people, and he looked at us.”

Byrne added that hundred of thousands of their members signed a petition calling on the USGA and the LPGA to move the tournament and no longer work with the Trump Organization.

UltraViolet’s weekend-long protest also included the commissioning of a plane to fly over the course on Friday with a banner reading: USGA: STAND WITH WOMEN, NOT TRUMP. 

Byrne explained Trump’s arrival on Friday ruled out the aerial protest due to FAA regulations but that they had rescheduled it for Thursday.

Meanwhile, Hope Singsen, an UltraViolet volunteer from New York City said, “I like millions am a survivor of many instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault. And I’m here to express my disgust that the USGA is using women’s sport to elevate, legitimize and celebrate a sexual predator.”

However, the protesters were seen to be outnumbered by Trump supporters. 

Even though Sunday’s protest was peaceful and devoid of conflict, Trump supporters expressed their displeasure with the demonstration.

They interrupted exchanges with journalists and loudly decried the media as “scumbags” and “fake news.”

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