Anti-Trump Cleveland protester isn't exactly pro-Hillary: RNC profiles

Published: Jul. 18, 2016 at 10:42 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, protesters and activists dominated the human landscape around Quicken Loans Arena.

Many said they did not come out in support of either presumed candidate in the presidential race, but rather to protest against the violence and the inequality in the country and the world.

Sitting in the shade of a tree on Public Square to find solace from the heat, Nancy Petru waved a sign reading "Embrace Diversity" on one side and "We Are All One" on the other.

Petru, who lives in Cleveland, said she hopes to send out a message of unity, at a moment where she believes presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is inciting divisiveness and "us versus them" positions on most domestic and foreign issues.

"There are people being killed all over the place because we're us and they're them, and we're just gonna kill them," said Petru, whose stars and stripes tank top matched the outfit choice of many others around the Q, protesters and delegates alike. "I just want to say there is no 'us' and 'them.' We're all together in this. When you put any kind of label on a group of people, it's really scary."

Petru said her anti-Trump stances do not mean she is necessarily pro-Hillary. The presumptive Democratic nominee still has to convince her that as president, she would foster unity and peace among all people.

"We want people who don't separate illegal immigrants from human beings," she said. "That's kind of what I hear when I hear Trump talking. In no way I'm gonna go with a person who separates humanity from each other."

Just a few blocks East Fourth Street, a group of women in blue T-shirts still hangs around as the long line of delegates and reporters disappears into The Q. They go by Nuns on the Bus, and they drove to Cleveland from Madison, Wis., stopping in about 10 cities on the way to then continue on to Philadelphia for next week's Democratic National Convention.

Sister Julie Ann Krahl said the group of Catholic nuns travels to advocate for ways to reduce inequality in jobs, income, housing and health.

"We're here today to see if we can talk to people and see if they understand what those gaps are about," she said.

The group does not endorse any candidate in the presidential race, Krahl said, but focuses on educating people and finding common grounds across the political spectrum to reduce inequality.

"We really think people want to mend the gaps," she said. "It will make our society a lot stronger."

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