Protesters gather, security heavy as Trump heads for NY home

FILE- In this Nov. 14, 2016 file photo, members of the New York Police Department's counterterrorism unit guard Trump Tower in New York. New York City's mayor and other Democratic officials say Congress is coming up far too short in proposing to reimburse the city $7 million for protecting Trump Tower. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, that New York City taxpayers "should not be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill" to protect Republican President-elect Donald Trump and his family. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Protesters and heavy security are ready to greet President Donald Trump as he returns to his New York City home for the first time since his inauguration.

More than 1,000 demonstrators were in pens police erected across the street from Trump Tower by early Monday evening, hours before his expected arrival.

An inflatable caricature of Trump is rising above pedestrians on a nearby block.

Police have stationed sand-filled sanitation trucks as barriers around the skyscraper and layers of metal police barricades around the main entrance.

Among the protesters is the Rev. Jan Powell, a retired United Church of Christ minister. She says she’s bothered by the Republican president’s response to the white supremacist rally that descended into violence Saturday in Virginia.

Trump initially blamed “many sides” for the violence. He now says “racism is evil.”

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