Fair Lawn mayor disturbed by Proud Boys’ presence at town’s pro-Trump rally
The mayor of Fair Lawn says that he was surprised and a little disturbed that members of the right-wing group The Proud Boys came to the town to attend a rally in support of President Donald Trump.
“Where were a number of Trump rallies that went on in New Jersey and [Joe] Biden rallies, but the Proud Boys weren’t at every single one,” says Mayor Kurt Peluso. “I find it very troublesome they came here to Fair Lawn.”
About a dozen members of the group attended the weekend rally that included at least 80 other people. The Anti-Defamation League calls the Proud Boys a white supremacy group. But Peluso says that even a group like the Proud Boys is free to rally.
“It’s just disturbing they feel welcomed here,” he says.
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Another pro-Trump rally is also under scrutiny in New Jersey after a caravan of supporters snarled traffic on the Garden State Parkway Sunday afternoon.
"I think they were trying to demonstrate that… while some things such as riots were labeled peaceful protests, they wanted to show the hypocrisy in that,” says Republican state Sen. Mike Testa, who is also the co-chair of Trump’s campaign in New Jersey.
But even Testa said that the demonstrators’ actions on Sunday could have been handled differently.
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“It’s dangerous, and God forbid there is an emergency,” he said.
The rallies come as the nation prepares for Tuesday’s election, with many worried about potential unrest depending on the result. Major cities around the country – including Atlantic City – have boarded up businesses in case of rioting. It is a sight that is uncommon for an American election.
But Peluso says that he would rather focus on what is good about the country.
“We’re going to show them that they can’t win. That the majority of people here in Fair Lawn are about coming together, celebrating our diversity and focusing on what is best for the town,” he says.
The Fair Lawn Trump rally was organized with the borough and police department, according to the mayor.