While many are gearing up for the Senior PGA Championship tournament, some Benton Harbor residents say the entire project has had a negative impact on the city.
A group gathered outside Benton Harbor City Hall Tuesday morning for what they called a "death march" to represent what they see as the oppression of local residents.
Organizers say the PGA has left the people of Benton Harbor out of the equation and that the promised jobs are not being given to people like them.
Edward Pinkney, a Benton Harbor resident, says, “They promised the city of Benton Harbor 2,000 jobs. That’s why the people of Benton Harbor never rose up above it. They were concentrated on the 2,000 jobs that Whirlpool had promised that would happen with the Harbor Shores project. Yet only about 30 jobs have been given to the residents of Benton Harbor. So, we're going to let them know that we're serious about what we doing."
The group marched through downtown Benton Harbor in a single file line, carrying protest signs.
Governor Rick Snyder and Congressman Fred Upton were asked about the protesters and neither one of them seemed concerned.
Snyder says, “When you have something new, new things coming along. As it gets more established, I think people will be really excited to have it here.”
Upton says, “You know the community itself, the elected leadership in both St. Joe/Benton Harbor, the mood of the people, obviously the leadership, they were all committed behind this and it got done and now we are so glad that it's done and we are seeing the real fruit develop now.”
The demonstrators plan to protest every day of the tournament.