RNC Day 4 – Discourse, Surveillance, and Xenophobia

Cleveland, OH – The last day outside of the Republican National Convention was filled with political discourse. Groups and individuals with a variety of opposing viewpoints and ideals once again peacefully converged on Public Square in downtown Cleveland. Unicorn Riot was live throughout the afternoon, evening, and night.

As the temperature topped 90 degrees on Thursday, the police kept a close watch on protesters wearing masks and anyone exercising open-carry. Groups of anarchists, communists, and socialists continually tried to speak on issues such as capitalism and the state but were met with intruding columns of police and Trump supporters.

Trump supporters advocating capitalism continually stepped in front of anti-capitalists as they walked on the sidewalks flanked by police. Eventually, those with opposing ideologies were able to converse amidst dozens of press at Mall A.

The groups eventually split off from each other at Willard Park, where Food Not Bombs was handing out free food. Over one hundred police officers sat on bikes and stood around the park to observe the couple dozen people exchanging dialogue on political differences.

During the afternoon, police were seen detaining and searching individuals throughout the park. At one point, police stopped a group to inspect a grocery bag containing bananas and proceeded to take pictures of the group.

Throughout the day in Public Square, heavily armed police walked patrols amidst protesters. The sight and smell of horse shit could be found on every corner left over from mounted police patrols.

While under constant surveillance from police sniper teams posted on rooftops, both protesters and police melted like popsicles under sun as a religious group handed out free water that said “Elect Jesus”.

Eventually, some protesters took to the sidewalks with chants while the police continued their divide and conquer tactics using multiple bicycle platoons.

Unicorn Riot continued streaming live throughout the night during many meaningful discussions among the crowd. Conversations ranged from the corrupt American political system, to the 2nd Amendment, xenophobia, police brutality, economics, and more.

A demonstration dubbed #CLEoverRNC created visual appeals for those in the square to realize the racial inequalities prevalent in Cleveland. Standing Together Against Trump (S.T.A.T.), an anti-Trump group that earlier marched into downtown with a couple hundred people, also protested in Public Square throughout the evening. Another small group was holding a dance party with drums and tamborines when bicycle mounted police rode right through the group aggravating the crowd.

As Donald Trump presented his closing speech inside the convention, a small gaggle of protesters sauntered down ‘media alley’ toward the convention where Trump supporters stood cheering on their leaders xenophobic remarks like a scene from George Orwell’s ‘1984’.

The demonstrators eventually arrived at the perimeter fence outside the heavily fortified entrance/exit gate of the Quicken Loans Arena. For over an hour, protesters held signs and heckled delegates and police, while Vermin Supreme remixed Jimmy Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner through a bullhorn.

Earlier, police had confiscation a paper mache pig modeled after Donald Trump.

Livestreams from RNC Day 4:

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