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Jul 20, 16

RNC Day 2 – Police, Militia Men, Alex Jones, & Anarchists

From Unicorn Riot

Protests during Day 2 of the Republican National Convention began with a banner drop done by climate justice activists who climbed flagpoles outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Several people were arrested after descending from the flagpoles.

Public Square in downtown Cleveland was filled with differing opinions on day two of the Republican National Convention. Several different groups and individuals practicing open-carry brought automatic weapons and posed with them.

We were LIVE during the afternoon.

The security around Public Square was a who’s who of alphabet agencies and police from across the country.

After hours of peaceful protests from a multitude of opposing groups, Alex Jones arrived with a bullhorn and began confronting a crowd who he called “anti-American communists.”  A small scuffle broke out after Alex Jones seemingly threw himself into the crowd of protesters chanting “Nazi scum off of our streets.”  The police immediately sent in multiple squads of police to break up the scuffle.  Alex Jones was then escorted out from the crowd by dozens of armed police and away from the scene.

As opposing groups began to directly interact in Public Square, the police split the groups in half using their power in numbers and utilizing their bikes as weapons to push people, mostly press, back from their newly created lines.

After the police segmented the crowd in Public Square, people pushed across the street spontaneously began a roving street march.  For about two hours dozens of protesters-including anarchists and other unaffiliated radicals- led police on a cat and mouse chase downtown. – racing to get through intersections before bike officers could form a line, and at one point running through a parking garage to avoid being caged in by police maneuvers.  This unpermitted march appeared to be one of the first deviations from the scripted norm of RNC protests thus far, in which official organizations putting on events collaborate with police in creating the march route.

We were live during the unpermitted street march:

The march was continually surrounded by police bike lines and was generally surrounded on three sides at all times.  Eventually the police declared the march an unlawful assembly, and ordered people present to disperse around a certain route.  Most marchers eventually turned around the way they came and dispersed, with apparently no arrests made.

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Unicorn Riot

Unicorn Riot is a volunteer-operated decentralized media collective comprised of multimedia artists and journalists. Born from the Internet in 2015, we operate non-hierarchically, independent of corporate and government funding. Our non-profit media organization currently spans across multiple US cities including Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and New York City. Unicorn Riot’s purpose is to amplify the voices of people who might otherwise go unheard, and broadcast the stories that might otherwise go untold, as we further understanding of dynamic social struggles. We are committed to producing media that exposes root causes of social conflict and explores sustainable alternatives in today’s globalized world.

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