When word spread on social media that President Donald Trump will attend the annual Red Cross Ball at Mar-a-Lago, his first visit to Palm Beach since his inauguration, Stephen Milo from Miami, created the Facebook group March to Mar-a-Lago to protest the president’s policies.
“I created the event, posted it,” Milo said. “At Thursday I had zero people interested and zero people going. And as of last night we had over a thousand people going. ”
As of Tuesday evening, around 1,300 people said they’re joining the protest march and 4,000 said they’re interested in attending.
“It’s going to come from the ground up. I don’t think the old models going to work anymore,” Milo said. “So I thought what better way to get involved than now?”
From Fort Myers to Melbourne to St. Petersburg, people from all over the state have responded to the protest march.
“It doesn’t surprise me because people are really active and motivated and fired up to protest this administration right now,” said Alex Newell Taylor, captain of the Women’s March of West Palm Beach.
Several groups, including the Women’s March, partnered with the protest. Suddenly, a small march became a complex event to organize.
Milo, who said he had never been politically active, had to look into how to manage such a big crowd.
“I want to make sure everybody is safe,” Milo said.
West Palm Beach Police Department said they’re in charge of crowd control and they’re not expecting traffic delays.
The protest did not have a permit as of Tuesday evening but organizers are in talks with law enforcement to see whether they are required to have one.
The march will start at Trump Plaza at 5 p.m. and go over the Southern Bridge with the final stop at Bingham Island, as close as they can get to Mar-a-Lago.
Palm Beach Police Department said they’re in communication with West Palm PD and the sheriff’s office on how to keep everyone safe.
Organizers said they do not want to disrupt the Red Cross Ball.
“We’re not looking to disrespect them in any way,” Newell Taylor said.
Milo is still in awe how a small Facebook group grew into a big protest.
“It showed me that my voice counts,” Milo said.