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Activists, media descend on Cleveland ahead of RNC

Events planned even before Monday's convention
Posted: 6:44 PM, Jul 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-15 19:28:08-04

Political activists are not waiting until the RNC to get their message out. Rallies and marches are planned in the days and hours leading up to Monday evening’s first session and the national media is in Cleveland to witness it all.

Linda Slama took a lunch break from work on Friday afternoon, and headed toward E. 4th Street, not realizing national media outlets had already arrived, even renting out entire restaurants to get a front row seats to next week’s Republican National Convention.

“I started walking around, I’m like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God!' Like the CNN Grill thing, that’s crazy!” Slama said. “This is really, really cool for Cleveland.”

Political activists are ready for some attention. Abortion-rights protestors from Cleveland stood side-by-side with an anti-abortion group from Columbus outside Public Square on Friday, both trying to get their provocatives messages out.

“Women are always going to have abortions,” abortion-rights activist Cheyenne Florence said, “And I just want them to be safe abortions, especially as somebody who I’ve had an abortion so it’s something I hold a little bit more close to my heart.”

“We’re here to advocate for the pre-born, against abortion,” anti-abortion activist Mark Harrington said, “And that the Republican Party would include a {Planned Parenthood} defunding provision in the party platform, which they’ve done.”

And groups opposing Donald Trump are staging rallies too.

The Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC handed out flyers on Mall A trying to boost their numbers for a planned Monday afternoon rally.

“We expect thousands of people from around the country will be coming here to express their anger with the bigot Trump,” organizer Mick Kelly said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Malik Shabazz, the controversial head of Black Lawyers For Justice said they’d host thousands of anti-Trump protestors at Perk Park on Saturday afternoon.

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