Aventura - Sunny Isles

Trump protesters march in Sunny Isles Beach

About 20 demonstrators were protesting President-Elect Donald Trump in Sunny Isles Beach on Friday night.
About 20 demonstrators were protesting President-Elect Donald Trump in Sunny Isles Beach on Friday night. Special to the Herald

About 50 demonstrators marched in Sunny Isles Beach on Friday night to protest President-elect Donald Trump.

By 6:30 p.m., the group had gathered at a strip mall south of the Trump International Beach Resort. As Sunny Isles Beach police blocked two lanes of traffic, protesters marched north on Collins Avenue toward the towers, chanting “We reject the president-elect” and “Not my president.”

Sunny Isles resident Rosa Canon, 40, held up a sign that said “Make America kind again.” A strong Bernie Sanders supporter, Canon said she voted for Hillary Clinton Nov. 8. Upon getting the election results, she said she “felt physically ill.”

Trump — who disparaged immigrants and espoused putting “America first” during his campaign — helped Sunny Isles Beach transform from a sleepy oceanside hamlet to a high-rise-lined playground for wealthy Russians and Latin Americans. The president-elect and real estate magnate’s name adorns the resort and two luxury condo towers at 18001 Collins Ave. Trump doesn’t own those towers, but licensed his name to the development, and he received a fee for each unit sold.

When protesters arrived at the resort, they hoisted a banner saying “Dump Trump. No hate in FL.”

David Gibson led several chants through the short demonstration. He said that although the protesters stood outside a building that wasn’t owned by Trump, it was still important to rally against Trump’s presidency at an accessible location.

“When you bear the name of a racist and a sexist,” he said, “you kind of act like a racist and a sexist.”

Unlike last week’s massive local protest, Friday’s demonstration did not shut down any roads. Last week, thousands of demonstrators marched in Miami, blocking traffic on the MacArthur Causeway for about an hour and later on I-95. Friday’s march disbanded by 8 p.m., earlier than organizers anticipated.

Sofia Rodriguez was walking her 1-year-old pug, Bronco, when she saw the group marching. She wasn’t expecting to join the march, but she and Bronco followed the crowd. As an undocumented resident, she said the recent election brought many fears to her and her family.

She pointed to an executive order by President Barack Obama that allows some undocumented residents to work and attend school in the U.S.

“It’s something that has given me a lot of opportunity,” she said. “I’ve built a life here.”