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Police step in as pro- and anti-GOP protesters fill Cleveland’s streets

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Protesters for and against Trump faced off in a plaza a few blocks from the site of the Republican National Convention in downtown Cleveland on Monday, shouting slogans at each other but avoiding physical confrontation.

Dozens of protesters were separated by a wall of police that looked equal in number.

To one side of the police line at the foot of the Key Tower, Cleveland’s tallest building, demonstrators shouted, “Black Lives Matter.” From the other side came, “You’re a bunch of anarchists.”

The exchanges marked the first emotionally charged demonstration at the 2016 Republican National Convention, where security forces are on alert for potentially disruptive conflicts.

A combination of intense rhetoric by presumptive Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, recent police shootings of African- Americans in Baton Rouge and the Minneapolis area, and the killings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge has raised tensions in the run-up to the convention.

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Alicia Street, 31, a Black Lives Matter activist from Ferguson, Missouri, told Reuters that police appeared to outnumber the protesters. “We don’t need all these police. This is just free speech,” Street said shortly after a group of pro-Trump protesters left the area. “They are going to make people afraid.”

Smaller demonstrations were held elsewhere in the downtown area. At least two protesters were seen carrying firearms. A group of people identifying themselves as “anti-gay Christians” shouted at a rival group. One person carried a sign that read, “Stop being a sinner and obey Jesus.”

A speaker at an anti-Trump rally was arrested, but police said it was unrelated to the campaign.

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One protest leader, Kait McIntyre, 27, said organizers from her group had sought permission for weeks to march outside the protest zone and only recently received it from the city.

“We wanted to get within sight and sound of the actual convention. We wanted our voices heard,” she said.

(Reporting by Scott Malone and Kim Palmer in Cleveland; Additional reporting by Daniel Trotta in Cleveland; Editing by Toni Reinhold)


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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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