Republican National Convention Draws Opposing But Peaceful Protests

Protests, rallies, and unrest rounded out day one of the Republican National Convention

Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo

The Republican National Convention saw highly divided crowds in Cleveland on Monday.

According to the New York Times, those in favor and against the GOP’s presumptive nominee Donald Trump took to the streets, peacefully protesting their cases in close proximity to each other.

Eric Smith, a 36-year-old Trump supporter, reportedly joined hundreds as they congregated at a park for an “America First” rally, where they carried lawn chairs and firearms in an attempt to show the variety of Trump’s supporters, as a handful of subgroups – including bikers, truckers and students – were in attendance.

“He’s never said anything racist,” Smith, who is black, told the Times. “He means just to say ‘Make America great again as itself.’ It’s like, ‘Build yourself up and then you can build up the people around you.'”

However, feelings towards Trump shifted drastically in a public square less than a mile away, where hundreds of anti-Trump protestor walked through Cleveland, until they reached the closest possible location to the blocked off Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held, the Times reports.

Once there, protesters reportedly shouted, ‘Shut it down!”

“There are all kinds of different groups here for different reasons but we’re united to shut this down,” Chicago resident Holly Counterpane told the newspaper. “Nobody’s trying to hurt, get hurt or get arrested.”

Meanwhile, disarray took hold inside the convention where a group of GOP officials took the floor and tried to change party rules, CNN reports.

The incident occurred when a group of states reportedly attempted to force a state-by-state roll call, in which they would vote on the rules of the convention. However, according to CNN, their attempt was denied and resulted in extreme unrest as Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack – also serving as convention chair – called for a vote by voice, but ultimately left the stage as opposing chants erupted.

“I have never seen the floor abandoned like that,” Utah Sen. Mike Lee said, according to CNN.

Womack eventually returned to the stage and reportedly explained that there was an insufficient number of votes to force a roll call vote.

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