“F*** the Democrats — If you are a Liberal, you should be executed.” The words blared out from one of the lead trucks ahead of a small caravan of about 20 cars through Port Jefferson in an event organizers called a “Trump Victory Parade” Sunday, Nov. 8.
The inflammatory words went largely unnoticed from the few pedestrians walking in Port Jeff the unseasonably warm late fall morning. A few passing bystanders gave calls of support for President Donald Trump (R) to the passing cars, and the event lasted only around 10 minutes. It was a far cry from the hundreds of vehicles that passed through the village earlier in October as a series of caravans hosted by the right-wing online group Setauket Patriots. That caravan traveled the route through Port Jeff, Setauket and St. James before heading out toward a much larger rally in East Northport and the Walt Whitman Mall. Though most news outlets have declared a victory to Trump’s Democratic opponent Joe Biden Saturday, many of the president’s supporters on Long Island continue to propagate unfounded conspiracy theories of widespread, interstate voter fraud favoring Biden.
This is despite the fact while the president lost the election via electoral votes, Democrats also lost seats in the House of Representatives and control of the Senate will depend on a Georgia runoff election in January.
Stats from the Suffolk County Board of Elections currently show the president holds a 55.5% tally compared to Biden’s 43%, though there are many thousands of absentee ballots still left to count.
Port Jefferson’s constables as well as Suffolk County police directed traffic through the village. In the village’s Nov. 2 board of trustees meeting, Will Zieman, 6th Precinct COPE officer, said that during the Oct. 17 caravan there were no arrests made, but he referred to incidents during the first caravan that “devolved” when people exited their vehicles in Setauket to confront counterprotesters. Three individuals from the North Country Peace Group were arrested that day for alleged disorderly conduct standing in front of the caravan’s path.
“We were prepared to proceed forward with pressing charges on behalf of individuals, right now those investigations are pending based on the complainants,” Zieman said. “There are some pending arrests that might be taking place.”
Otherwise the COPE officer said police were trying to make sure the caravan went in and out of the village safely and without incident.
There were other rallies across Long Island by Trump supporters, including in front of the News 12 Long Island offices in Woodbury.
Though there weren’t many Trump supporters on the sidelines that Sunday in Port Jeff, a few local residents set up a table next to Main Street with a sign that read “Trump Lost the Election/Change My Mind.” The sign is based on an internet meme originated when conservative online personality Steven Crowder posted a picture of him sitting outside Texas Christian University with a sign reading “Male Privilege Is a Myth/Change My Mind.”
PJ resident Connor Fitterer, who set up the table just outside the entrance to Chandler Square from Main Street along with two of his friends, said they brought the table there in response to the Setauket Patriots’ supposed call of a Trump victory. He said that while many of his more liberally minded friends were “genuinely nervous” about supporters’ reactions to Trump’s defeat, he wasn’t very nervous about putting himself in that position.
“They say, ‘You’re just taking their word that democracy works,’ but isn’t that what we’ve been doing for the past 200 years?” Fitterer said.
This article has been amended to include audio of the caravan.