Day 1 at the RNC: Protesters, Cops, and Lots of Theatrics

Photos: Tod Seelie

What a crazy opening day at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. First there was an attempt by delegates to revolt against Donald Trump that failed. Hours later, Rudy Giuliani lost his mind and then Melania Trump delivered a speech that was straight ripped from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the DNC, a claim the Trump campaign bizarrely denied, despite the obvious.

Meanwhile, outside of the Quicken Loans Arena and in the massive security zone surrounding it, demonstrators from both sides of the political aisle are marching and shouting and shouting some more. Amidst these protests, there are lots and lots of cops on bikes and very well-armed law enforcement officers from surrounding states. However, for the most part, the scene is pretty tame and doesn’t yet feel like the tinderbox it was expected to be. But hey, it was only day one. Here’s what it was like to be in downtown Cleveland on Monday.

_S0A7827Tom Morello, B-Real, and Chuck D_S0A7795Prophets of Rage perform a surprise set in Public Square on Day 1 of the RNC in Cleveland.rnc_day_1_code_pinkCode Pink contingent. _S0A7671Lots of Trump merch for sale. _S0A8031The symbolism of that flag though… _S0A8062Trump Flakes and Clinton Crunch, being sold as “Limited Edition Cereals.”_S0A8082Button man._S0A7444Protester holding both a mini and large “Dump Trump” banner._S0A7965A lot of evangelical Christian groups are present outside the convention, many with large signs.A_S0A8163“I love you, brother.”_S0A7914Former presidential candidate Vermin Supreme chats with fans in Cleveland’s Public Square._S0A7874A child plays in the Public Square fountain while police officers look on._S0A7210Protestors form a barrier between an anti-Trump march and police officers on bicycles that followed it._S0A7324Protestors form a barrier between an anti-Trump march and police officers on bicycles that followed it._S0A7557A protestor has a tense exchange with a police officer._S0A8122A protester loudly condemns the killing of Tamir Rice in Public Square.A_S0A8233A statue of Abraham Lincoln made from duct tape decorates the Cleveland waterfront.

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