New York: A small park built on a site that was once a swampy, sewage-filled pond was ground zero for the frenzy surrounding former President Donald Trump’s surrender Tuesday at a courthouse in Lower Manhattan.
Hundreds of onlookers, protesters, journalists and a few politicians swarmed into the confines of Collect Pond Park across the street from the criminal courthouse, where Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts. Ultimately, though, hardly anyone got a glimpse of Trump: He entered and left the courthouse out of view of demonstrators gathered in the park.
The crowd was small, by the standards of New York City protests, which routinely draw thousands. And fears that unruly mobs might force police to shut down swaths of the city proved to be unfounded, with security measures mostly disappearing within a couple of blocks.
Metal barricades separated Trump supporters from anti-Trump protesters, and police stepped in to break up small skirmishes. Journalists, some of whom had taken turns waiting in line all night to reserve a coveted seat in the courtroom, pressed in on notable figures who appeared.
Whistles and jeers from anti-Trump protesters nearly drowned out remarks by U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, who had come to support Trump. But she drew cheers from the pro-Trump contingent before making a fast exit as journalists jostled for position around her.
Also on hand to support Trump was U.S. Rep. George Santos, the besieged Republican congressman facing multiple investigations into lies about his biography that he told while running for office.