A New Jersey borough has reluctantly approved a permit for a rally in support of President Donald Trump.
Seaside Heights Mayor Anthony Vaz, a Republican like Mr. Trump, initially rejected a request from the MAGA March group to hold a pro-Trump rally on the borough’s boardwalk, the Asbury Park Press reported Tuesday.
“Make America Great Again” marches are planned throughout the country on Saturday to show support for the president, Vice President Mike Pence, members of the military and first responders.
Vaz, citing concerns about possible clashes with opposing groups, asked Trump supporters to move the march elsewhere.
“Even though I believe in [President] Trump, when you watch what’s happening on [media], you see the violence of some of these groups,” Vaz said.
The borough has less than two dozen full-time police officers in the offseason, he said. Officials were concerned about the potential cost of having police protection for the event.
“We weren’t in favor of this because we know what could happen,” Vaz said.
But the Constitution’s First Amendment protects the rights of Trump supporters to peacefully gather and express their ideas, rally organizers said.
A permit for the event was approved last week to avoid any potential lawsuits.
The event, which is the official march in New Jersey, is scheduled for Saturday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. The exact location hasn’t been released.
Officials have received “numerous inquiries, comments and complaints” about the event since approval of the permit, said borough Administrator Christopher Vaz. He is the mayor’s son.
Police Chief Thomas Boyd said he expects about 800 attendees.
Officers from neighboring towns and state troopers will help with crowd control.