It’s easy to lose track of the number of protests, disruptions and assorted styles of mayhem we’ve been promised during the GOP convention in Cleveland next month. Originally there were going to be armies of Bikers for Trump taking to the streets if he was robbed of the nomination. The anti-Trump forces talked of protests of their own should the voters be so unwise as to choose him. And of course there were the liberals, with every group from Black Lives Matter to pro-abortionists to illegal aliens (sorry… undocumented Americans in waiting) promising to clog the streets and make life miserable for all who dare show up.
Much of that talk has faded considerable since the voting concluded, but not all of it. And it seems that the FBI is taking the threats seriously. They’ve been fanning out around the area speaking to all sorts of people who are known to get up to protest related activity. This has some of the residents rather nervous. (LA Times)
“Law enforcement is reaching out to individuals known in the community who may have information that could help to ensure a safe and secure environment during the RNC,” the statement said. A spokeswoman declined to comment further.
Maggie Rice, 28, an organizer with Food Not Bombs, a volunteer group that provides food at demonstrations and to the homeless, said an FBI agent and a Cleveland police officer in plainclothes had contacted two of the group’s members last week.
“The FBI is calling it community outreach — nobody’s buying that,” said Rice, adding that her group provides food to whoever wants it at demonstrations, including police, and that she explicitly avoids trying to know anyone’s protest plans. She added that it felt like “they’re trying to make us nervous.”
The reporters covering this story were at least honest enough to note that this is really nothing unusual. In fact, the exact same thing is going on in Philadelphia as we speak. There are more high profile, public figures than you can shake a stick at showing up in both cities and they include various people with Secret Service protection. The Justice Department has a vested interest in knowing who plans to show up and what their intentions are.
But it’s not just the protesters who worry the long arm of the law. As we’ve seen in far too many instances already, it’s the counter-protesters who turn up and are determined to poke enough people in the chest until they find someone ready to fight. It’s happened outside numerous Trump rallies already and this one is set to be the biggest rally of them all.
If you’re planning on attending either one, all I can tell you is to bring plenty of water, an umbrella and comfortable shoes. There will be massive security to get past if you want to get onto the grounds of either convention center. The lines will be long and some tempers will be short. The green zone in Tampa in 2012 was a nightmare to get in and out of, particularly for the last two days, so try to time your travel at off hours as much as possible. And if you’re smart enough to be staying home and watching the spectacle on TV, break out the popcorn. I have a feeling that not all the action will be taking place on the stage.
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