9/11 Families Protest Saudi-Supported LIV Golf Tournament

BEDMINSTER, New Jersey. A grim and weeping group of protesters stood between two American flags behind the public library, in stark contrast to festivities at a golf tournament three miles down the road. They made their claims and promoted their cause, but refused to fight at the gates of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

“We are happy that people are refocusing attention on this issue,” said Jay Winuk, one of the organizers of the protest. “There is no reason to go to the place where the next atrocity occurs.”

A group made up of family members of victims of the 9/11 attacks has spoken out strongly against the Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament, which is being held this weekend at a club owned by former President Donald J. Trump.

The 9/11 Justice group is seeking to bring to justice Saudi Arabian government officials who they claim supported the terrorists. They are outraged that Trump once accepted the responsibility of the Saudi government, but they say changed his stance to cash in on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to sanitize the country’s image in the world through sports.

“How much money does it take to turn your back on your country, on the American people?” said Juliet Scauso, who was 4 years old when her father, firefighter Dennis Scauso, died in the attacks.

For days, LIV golfers and Trump defended their decision to join the breakaway tour and accept millions of dollars from Saudi sovereign wealth fundled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Critics of the tour say it’s yet another example of the atrocities attributed to them in Saudi “sports laundering” – supporting the 9/11 terrorists, killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and harassing women and members of the LGBTQ community.

Trump, who as a presidential candidate in 2016 blamed the Saudis for the 9/11 attacks, said on Thursday that “Unfortunately, no one got to the bottom of 9/11.”

On Friday, the protesters had the opportunity to respond to both Trump and the golfers. Many accused golfers of cowardice for expressing sympathy for their cause while receiving money from LIV Golf.

“You are saying that you agree with the actions of Saudi Arabia, or worse, that you are so incredibly greedy and callous that you don’t give a damn about these atrocities,” Skauso said.

Organizers came to the protest armed with copies of declassified FBI documents that they say establish clear links between 12 Saudi government officials and the terrorists in the months leading up to the attacks.

“It’s simple,” said Tim Frolich, who was in the South Tower on 9/11. “The Saudis did it. They plotted it, they funded it, and now they’re trying to distract all of that stuff with a golf tournament 50 miles from ground zero. It’s unfortunate.”

The group called on golfers to boycott LIV Golf and asked golfers and anyone doing business with the Saudis, including broadcasters, to reconsider. Friday morning at the nearby Marriott Hotel serving as the tour’s headquarters at the Bedminster stop, members of the group approached David Feherty, a former CBS and NBC golf analyst who defected to join the tour despite not having a contract. with American TV. for now.

Brett Eagleson, president of 9/11 Justice, asked Feherty if he would listen and perhaps talk to golfers about the choices they are making.

“He was actually very receptive,” Eagleson said. “He was really open to working with us and partnering with us, as opposed to being belligerent. I hope”.

But Eagleson was much less conciliatory towards Trump, who he said was more guilty than golfers because, as a former commander in chief, he should know better. Eagleson was part of a group that met with Trump at the White House on September 1. November 11, 2019. They say Trump urged them to keep working, which they did on Friday.

Eagleson said Trump’s statement that “no one got to the bottom of the events of 9/11” outraged family members of the victims beyond their already simmering anger.

“Our loved ones are heroes,” he said, “but golfers and the former president are cowards.”

As the protesters spoke, several passing cars honked their horns in support, but several drivers yelled support for Trump and one yelled at family members to go home.

Vinuk, whose brother, Glenn Winuk, a volunteer firefighter, died in the attacks, called the Saudi funds “blood money” and warned that anyone who took them would carry their “stink” forever.

“LIV Golf?” he said. “For me and many others, it’s more like death golf.”

Several members of the group, including former Trump supporters, took turns at the pulpit, criticizing the Saudis, golfers and the former president. When asked what else the group was planning, Eagleson broke down, explaining how exhausted he and other members of the organization were feeling.

“I’m tired of fighting,” he said through tears.