Protesters for and against Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in a plaza just blocks away from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday. While the groups were shouting slogans at one another, both sides avoided any physical confrontation.
The protesters were divided by a wall of police that nearly equaled the number of demonstrators.
It was the first emotionally-charge demonstration at this year’s RNC. Due to the nature of Trump’s controversial campaign and the recent attacks on police officers, security forces are on high alert.
Several smaller demonstrations were held elsewhere in downtown Cleveland, and two protesters were seen with firearms. One group identified themselves as “anti-gay Christians,” while others carried signs urging people to stop sinning and “obey Jesus.”
One protestor group said organizers sought permission to march outside of the protest zone, but only recently received the “okay” from the city. The group’s goal was to get close to the convention to have their voices heard.
Thus far, the protests have been largely peaceful, with only two arrests made. One man was charged with petty theft for trying to steal an officer’s gas mask, and a woman was arrested for an outstanding warrant. The two largest anti-Trump rallies featured crowds of 200 to 300 people.