Somerset County News

United by Misgivings, Area Protesters Express Anger with Trump, Extremists and Racism

7a754954bc66e97fbdc9_sompixtrumpprotestgroup4.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas
9ef40a5e526c96a69a2c_b1cd38d0bd5662b1065f_sompixtrumpprotest5.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas
6c0f9681916af1067672_sompixtrumpprotestorganizers.JPG
Wednesday's Somerville protest was organized by, from left, Donna Volpe, Jen Kitchen and Michelle Edger. Credits: Patti Verbanas
800d9eda10e425814d78_83cb790b517b66d3bdba_sompixtrumpprotest1.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas
fabb950ded08027c9b1f_fc9d59a835f15d5d4a22_sompixtrumpprotest2.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas
8b0e686d88bad6e55e6a_35a0bed6bab2cbd6bda5_sompixtrumpprotest3.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas
ecdd645071023170e1bb_e37691dc4f882432ee14_sompixtrumpprotest6.JPG
Credits: Patti Verbanas

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - A crowd of 75 protestors clutching hand-painted signs gathered outside the Unitarian Universalist Church on East Cliff Street Wednesday night expressing anger and frustration with current events and a troubled country increasingly polarized by political differences, racism and violence.

The signs read: "Love Has a Home in Somerville," Imagine All the People Living Life in Peace," "Make America Love Again," "America's Got Room, Immigrants Welcome," "No Hate in Our State," "Celebrate Diversity," "Hate Has No Home Here," "We the People."

The protest was organized by Jen Kitchen, Michelle Edger and Donna Volpe, who is the founder of the Somerville branch of Hate Has No Home Here.

Sign Up for E-News

On Tuesday, the three women had gathered on the corner of North Bridge Street and Main Street, reviled by the clash of extremists in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend and the reaction of President Donald Trump. Energized by the response of motorists honking their horns and 'thumbs up" gestures, they decided to put word out on social media for a larger demonstration, according to Volpe.

Overnight, Volpe said her HHNHH website received over 300 responses.

"It's amazing what can be done in 24 hours," she said.

They had planned to return to Main Street, but found out a permit was required; they reached out to the church as an alternate location.

"When I first arrived there were some people who had assembled already and they were so thankful they had someplace to go, to stand together and express their misgivings for the times we're finding ourselves in right now," Volpe said.

"We started out by standing along the sidewalk with signs, interacting with cars that went by, but then we gathered together and allowed each other to talk. We had an excellent sharing of thoughts and feelings, a real meaningful dialogue with one another," Volpe said. "There were many expressions of we as a society have gotten lazy, we haven't had our finger on the pulse of where we're going. We can't let history repeat itself. This isn't the kind of world we want for our children and grandchildren," Volpe added.

"We can't be lazy in our desire for peace. Peace doesn't just happen. We have t work to bring it about," said Kay Stephenson.

One Somerville resident had some strong words for Trump.

"In 2017, we have a president who will not denounce Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists. Our ancestors fought wars against these ideologies and we won't go back. We have to stand up for equality, peace and justice." said Jean Scalea Bjugstad.

There was some anti-Trump chanting which Volpe tried to discourage.

"There was some chanting, but Hate Has No Home Here is not affiliated with any political organization," she said. "I made that a point, saying this is not a political issue, it's a moral issue, but it's hard to separate that from the current administration," she added.

Empowered by the earnest enthusiasm of the protestors, Volpe said the organizers plan another protest.

"One thing people were asking was 'when can we do this again.' We're looking into what we need to do to gather on Main Street to be more visible and welcome others into the fold.

"People are waking up,"  Volpe said.

Further information is available online at hhnhhsomerville.wixsite.com/home.

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Red Cross blood shortage prompts urgent call for blood and platelet donations during National Blood Donor Month

January 17, 2018

This January, National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.

Severe winter weather has had a tremendous impact on blood donations already this year, with more than 150 blood drives forced to cancel causing over 5,500 blood and platelet ...

Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Dog Outside Residence

January 17, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild went ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

New Brunswick, Highland Park, Rutgers, Use Art to Team Up Against Hate

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hate incidents across the country have been on the rise in the past year, and New Brunswick has been no exception.

That’s why city officials will be partnering with ​the Borough of ​Highland Park and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, for a month-long arts project meant to promote peace, love and understanding.

“Windows of ...

Flemington Attempted Murder Suspect Surrenders

FLEMINGTON, NJ – The suspect sought in what Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III called an attempted murder has surrendered, according to a press release issued this morning.

Ciro Perrone, 32, of Flemington, was wanted a warrant charging him with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and ...

New Brunswick's Homeless Hunker Down During Record-Breaking Cold Wave

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Kathy Gallis considers herself one of the luckier guests at the city’s warming center.

She has a social security check, a smartphone, and a hotel to stay at for at least a few days.

But the check is only a few hundred dollars, and the Sayreville hotel Gallis stays at charges $75 a night.

It’s easy to burn through the money quickly, and she’s come to ...

Dog Dies After Being Left at PetSmart; SPCA and Family Seek Answers

RARITAN TWP., NJ – This is a story about Scruffles and it is not a happy one.

Scruffles was an eight-year-old bulldog, a pet loved by Danielle DiNapoli and her family. Their story has gone viral on Facebook with more than 14,000 shares and nearly 10,000 comments, leading DiNapoli to create a “Justice for Scruffles” Facebook page.

DiNapoli said she just wants answers. She ...

Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Dog Outside Residence

January 17, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild went ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

New Brunswick, Highland Park, Rutgers, Use Art to Team Up Against Hate

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hate incidents across the country have been on the rise in the past year, and New Brunswick has been no exception.

That’s why city officials will be partnering with ​the Borough of ​Highland Park and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, for a month-long arts project meant to promote peace, love and understanding.

“Windows of ...

Republican Ellen Brain Appointed First Woman Mayor of Somerville by Council Democrats

January 17, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Ellen Brain, a former AT&T executive who has served on the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College, is the new Republican mayor of Somerville and the first woman to serve as mayor since the borough was incorporated in 1909.

“I’m delighted and I’m honored,” she said ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

TD Bank Ballpark Community Box Available to Non-profits, Community Organizations

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Requests are now being accepted to use the 30-seat community box at the TD Bank Ballpark.

To be eligible, applicants should be nonprofits whose client base consists of at least 50 percent Somerset County residents or community organizations that are located in Somerset County or have a facility based in Somerset County that serves the citizens of Somerset County.  ...

Republican Ellen Brain Appointed First Woman Mayor of Somerville by Council Democrats

January 17, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Ellen Brain, a former AT&T executive who has served on the borough’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and is an adjunct professor at Raritan Valley Community College, is the new Republican mayor of Somerville and the first woman to serve as mayor since the borough was incorporated in 1909.

“I’m delighted and I’m honored,” she said ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

Raccoon Attacks Hillsborough Woman and Dog Outside Residence

January 17, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ  - A raccoon attacked a 63-year-old woman and her dog a few steps outside the front door of her residence Tuesday morning, according to police.

Irene Rothschild told police she had walked out the front door of her home at 424 Bigley Road with her dog around 11 a.m. when the raccoon attacked, biting and scratching the dog.

Neighbors on social media say Rothschild went ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute – Winter Weather Edition

On this episode of AtlantiCast Medical Minute, learn how to take the fight to Old Man Winter, while staying safe! Learn some winter health tips with Anthony Brutico, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Newton Medical Center.