Protests peaceful, aplenty at Day 1 of Republican National Convention

Protesters show sense of humor on East 4th Street

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Not all protesters expressing their right to be heard in Cleveland are against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump -- thousands are in town to support him.

The America First Unity Rally occupied Settler's Landing in the Flats Monday afternoon. It was spirited, and peaceful, though some of the attendees had weapons. That included Jan Morgan, spokeswoman for the NRA, who spoke to Trump supporters on the river's edge.

Monday's convention theme was "making America safe again."

"There's only one candidate running for president of the United States who is actually going to make America safe again, and it is not Hillary Clinton," said Morgan.

She spoke about the candidate's plan should he get elected and why those in attendance needed to stop Clinton from allowing more Syrian refugees to enter the U.S.

"Donald Trump is right about stopping this influx of people coming in to our country until we have a better way to make sure that we know who these people are," she said.

There backing her and the candidate were Bikers for Trump.

"The main reason why we're here is to give Trump a fair campaign. We weren't paid to be here," said Sean Vosilovic, who traveled from Grand Rapids.

The group estimates they had about 1,000 members in Cleveland Monday. They're expecting several thousand more throughout the week.

Again, it was a peaceful event even though many in attendance were packing heat.

"That's our second amendment right. We didn't come here to have trouble or problems, but we're here doing security detail," said Vosilovic.

A few hundred protesters with End Poverty Now flooded Perk Park for a while Monday afternoon, and that gathering remained peaceful as well.

Cleveland's police chief said there were a total of two large peaceful protests on Monday, with a slew of smaller groups also in the mix. He said the city expected crowds and were ready.

Chief Williams said Monday evening there was no damage to his knowledge after Monday's gatherings. He added authorities had collected a small knife, gas masks, and a slingshot throughout the day.

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