Protesters stopped from reaching Gov. Murphy’s home in Middletown
MIDDLETOWN — Township police on Saturday blocked a group of demonstrators from gathering in front of Gov. Phil Murphy's home.
The protesters – upset with the governor's pandemic restrictions as well as President Donald Trump's electoral defeat – shouted at police officers who stood on the other side of a traffic barricade.
The marchers chanted "Stop the steal!," a slogan associated with baseless conspiracy theories, some stoked by the president himself, claiming that Trump won the election despite all the vote counts and certifications proving otherwise and the lack of any proof put forward in any court to back up claims of widespread fraud.
In video of the march shared by David J. Winkler — a Republican who failed to get on the GOP primary ballot in the 8th Congressional District in Hudson County and who now says he is running for the state Senate seat held by Union City Mayor Brian Stack – Trump flags seem to outnumber U.S. flags. Like an anti-Murphy march in Morris County last week, a Confederate battle flag also made an appearance.
Winkler said the march brought out "hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pissed-off Republicans," but videos of the event show perhaps four dozen and he later conceded on Twitter that "around 50 actually walked down to" the street.
Winkler said the demonstration opposed "unconstitutional emergency orders that have killed our economy."
"We got Proud Boys here; we got Trump supporters here. We got everybody here," he says in the short video.
"We the people matter!" the crowd chanted as police vehicles drove past.
"Shame on all these cops," an organizer is heard saying in the video.
New Jersey has a gubernatorial mansion but Murphy and his family prefer to stay in their own more spacious compound on the Navesink River waterfront.
Township police could not be reached on Saturday evening to provide details of the event.