WAYNE, NJ – In support of the police, the military and President Trump a group of about 250 people marched peacefully down Valley Road on Saturday afternoon. Dressed in red, white and blue, carrying signs and flags, the procession made its way down the sidewalks lining each side of Valley Road. They started at the parking lot of Ramapo Plaza and walked for two miles south to the Wayne Police Department where a small rally was held.
This was not the first pro-police march down Valley Road. Group founder, Joe DiPasquale made this same walk on his own two weeks before dressed in his “Trump gear” - which he admitted is all he wears. “I had a lot of people honking at me and giving me the thumbs up and shouting their support. It felt good,” he said. “Of course, there were a couple of people who cursed at me and gave me the finger, too.”
The following week, friends encouraged him to begin a Facebook page and with his daughter’s help, he launched a group called: Pro-Trump, Pro-Military, Pro-Police All Lives Matter Walk.
“I got almost 1,000 members in the first week,” said DiPasquale. As of Sunday morning, the group has 1,460 members.
Through his group, the call went out to gather for a march on Saturday, and an estimated 250 people came out to march. In long stretched out lines on either side of the road, they walked, talking amongst themselves, waiving and cheering at those that honked their horns in support, and jeering at those that yelled at them from passing cars. Pro police, military, America and Trump chants echoed down the road as they went.
Once everyone made it to the Wayne Township municipal complex, they gathered in front of the police station and DiPasquale and a few others spoke to the group through a bullhorn, leading chants such as: “We’re for the Wayne Police” and “We’re for Trump.”
“Everybody was going crazy,” said DiPasquale as he described the moment. “There weren’t any speeches. We just thanked the Wayne PD and we thanked everybody for coming and told them we were going to do it again next week and every week.”
The group’s goal is to hold these same walks in different towns every week. DiPasquale told TAPinto that they are probably going to be in Totowa next week.
When DiPasquale was asked why he organized this, he said: “I was trying to show support for our police, for our military and for our president. Over the last month, I’ve watched police officers get spit on, beat up on, and shot, so I just got really sick and tired of it. They’re disrespected and it makes me sick and it really bothers me. Without Trump, we’re not going to have the police or the military.”
Why did he choose Wayne for the first walk? “I love the Wayne PD and I wanted to show that I supported the Wayne PD,” DiPasquale answered.
DiPasquale admitted that he doesn’t really understand what the BLM movement is trying to do. “I don’t know what their message is,” he said. “They are a group of people that want to defund the police department. They want to see Trump be defeated. I don’t think it’s about George Floyd anymore, that was a month and a half ago. I really don’t know what their message is.”
What is DiPasquale’s message? “There’s a silent majority out there,” he said. “I did this to bring the silent majority out. Everybody is sitting at home because they are afraid to go against the Black Lives Mater group. So, I wanted to show them that there was another message. Not just black lives matter, but all lives matter.”
What did he think of the Black Lives Matter march that was held in Wayne? “I went to it and watched from across the road, but I wasn’t going to go in there with my Trump gear on, that would only cause trouble,” he said. “It was organized and peaceful, and they have the same first amendment rights that I do. Nobody came to disrupt our march, and we didn’t go try to disrupt theirs.”
Though the two groups are ideologically opposed, the fact that there were no counter-protests to either event is a testament to the peaceful nature of Wayne. Whether you support one group or the other, the beauty of America’s freedom of speech and freedom of assembly were on display at this march and at last month’s Black Lives Matter march. Wayne is setting an example to the rest of the country of how to handle opposing viewpoints peacefully. If only that same example applied on social media.