Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
Tom Moran is a driver from Michigan who in his daily life transports children with disabilities. A few months ago he had already planned to go to Cleveland if Donald Trump would be the Republican presidential candidate. “Trump has openly insulted disabled people. America deserves a better president than him.”
He also worries about freedom of speech. “The First Amendment of our Constitution is a great thing. But Trump wants to change the libel laws, so he will be able to sue those who criticize him.”
Moran is one of the first persons who arrived early in the morning with a large banner in Cleveland, where the Republican party convention began on Monday. Slowly the city center starts to fill with protesters.
One of them is Anita Rios. She is particularly upset about Trump’s remarks about Latinos. “If a candidate calls Mexicans rapists and murderers, and subsequently becomes the presidential candidate of the Republicans, then there is something wrong with the party.”
Not that she is a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. She does not trust her and she will not vote for her in November. But suppose someone would hold a gun to her head to force her to make a choice between the two? “Then I would be dead, because then you would find me with a bullet in my head.”
Five thousand police officers are supposed to make the city, which has turned into a fortress, safe. Demonstrators are kept far away from the party convention. At a few places in the city they are allowed to demonstrate with limited freedom of movement.
Everywhere are signs with long lists of items that protesters are not allowed to bring to demonstrations. Tennis balls are strictly prohibited, as well as ladders and water pistols. What they can bring indeed are real firearms, thanks to the pro-gun laws of the state of Ohio.
In her first major address before the nation on Monday night, Melania Trump [wife of Donald Trump] appears to have plagiarized a number of lines from first lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The plagiarized passages … concerned the importance of hard work and honesty: here.
The first day of the convention was devoted to support for militarism and police repression under the slogan “Make America Safe Again.” The law-and-order rhetoric inside Quicken Loans Arena matched the police state atmosphere outside, as demonstrators were penned in by hundreds of police and the city center was walled off with steel fencing and concrete barriers: here.
The theme of the first day was “Make America Safe Again,” with a focus on attacking immigrants, militarism and expanding the powers of the police. Speeches inside the convention in support of a wall with Mexico, increased police-state measures and an assault on democratic rights were mirrored outside by the deployment of thousands of police, miles of barricades and even the National Guard: here.