RNC - Cleveland, Ohio
RNC - The Good, Bad & Ugly
by Nancy Rolfe
Resident's of Cleveland, Ohio and its suburbs are well aware of our strengths & weaknesses. We love our city and are aware the nation does not place us on their 'wish list' for future travels. Comedians and talk show hosts include our city into their jokes "Mistake on the lake" etc... but not this week.
Sunday, I drove the many routes into and out of the downtown area, parked in a few locations and walked around for hours - alone.
As a female, I should have been a bit nervous but was not. So comfortable in fact, was able to remain downtown speaking to many RNC tourists until nearly midnight. Excited and upbeat were the responses by the many tourists encountered. As much as I love Cleveland, my own negativity shone through. Reactions to the initial visitor's comment's caught me off-guard. I was not 'defending' Cleveland in conversations, my replies to the visitors were limited to "Really?"
Every area whether on foot or driving, extreme coverage by security could be seen in the form of police, highway patrol and private security companies. Traffic guards kept vehicles moving without issue and noticed were many drivers kindly assisting one another by waving others into lanes, the latter is common here.
Travel into the convention area is extremely difficult for everyone including reporters. Residents were forewarned this would be at issue as many businesses ran skeleton crews.
The Ugly -
NON-Govabuse protester ARRESTED - Police prejudice claimed.
Police actually encouraged resident's not to get arrested the week of the convention as priority would be given to people arrested from other states - to get them processed and out. The following person arrested was well aware of this fact and sought arrest anyway.
Those claiming 'prejudice' when facts prove fault of the person being arrested, are harmful to those having true claims of 'prejudice'. One such claim occurred during the RNC as a 'non-Govabuse' protester who had refused to take care of her outstanding arrest warrants prior to appearing before police, literally daring police to arrest her. As a bonus, had the audacity to claim "Prejudice because I'm a black woman". This was not her first arrest during a protest for an 'outstanding arrest warrant'.
A few years ago at a downtown Cleveland protest on Lakeside on front steps of the justice center, numerous groups gathered, three times police officers gave the girl an opportunity to 'leave' and suggested she turn herself in to avoid earning an additional arrest. I personally begged her to accept, as it harms 'the cause' and fellow protesters did not deserve any persons personal issues to overshadow their cause for protest. The need for attention was placed ahead of the message being shared. She refused, was arrested & as usual shouted claims of prejudice.
Months prior to the Justice center protest, we were protesting at a east side police station and the same individual instructed protesters to enter the station to protest. It was not a Govabuse organized protest, but I protest with other groups when the cause warrants. Fortunately, protesters trusted me
as I assured all they would be putting their safety / freedom at risk and was counter-productive to the cause. The girl was incarcerated all week and rest assured, the jailers assisted with her desired attention.
What to learn from these continued arrests -
TAKE CARE OF ANY ARREST WARRANTS BEFORE YOU PROTEST!!
Govabuse 'always' has a PLC on site to make certain protesters are safe
and can return home after the protests. Obviously, most groups are not
quite as organized.
Republican National Convention