photo credit: infostormer
From Reuters (and quoting Cleveland Tea Party’s Ralph King):
From bikers to truckers, pro-Trump groups plan forceful presence in Cleveland
BY NICK CAREY
When Chris Cox rolls into Cleveland in mid-July with other motorcycle-riding supporters of Donald Trump, he plans to celebrate the billionaire's coronation as the Republican presidential nominee. He also counts on joining protests if a battle over the nomination ensues.
"I'm anticipating we'll be doing a victory dance," said Cox, 47, a chainsaw artist and founder of Bikers for Trump, thousands of whom he estimates will hit the Ohio city for the July 18-21 Republican National Convention.
"But if the Republican Party tries to pull off any backroom deals and ignores the will of the people, our role will change."
Bikers For Trump is part of a diverse array of groups coordinating to hold thousands-strong protests and marches if the real-estate mogul is denied outright victory at the Republican Party’s nominating convention in Cleveland.
The risks of confrontation and violence surrounding Trump events were highlighted again on Thursday, when around 20 people were arrested following clashes between anti-Trump protesters and police outside a rally for the candidate in California. It was the worst outbreak of violence since Trump was forced to cancel a rally in Chicago in mid-March.
Anti-Trump protests are expected in Cleveland. In late March, the left-leaning National Lawyers Guild held a conference in the city to coordinate legal support to protesters in the event of mass arrests during demonstrations.
Leaders and members of the pro-Trump groups told Reuters their main goal is to mount a show of support for their candidate, who after a series of primary victories this week looks increasingly likely to clinch the nomination outright ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
But if he falls short of the required 1,237 delegates, raising the risk he could lose out in a contested convention, they said they plan to do all they can to exert pressure on party leaders to prevent someone else getting the nomination.
Several Trump supporters suggested that tensions could escalate if the party was seen as trying to deny Trump the nomination despite his commanding lead in delegates won in primary contests.
"The plan either way is send a message to the Republican establishment to respect our votes," said Ralph King, a member of the Cleveland Tea Party. "If the party tries to parachute in a white knight to steal the nomination, it's not going to end well."
. . .
The Cleveland Division of Police also has a security plan in place as it does for all major events of this kind, a spokeswoman said in an email, without providing further details.
. . .
Pro-Trump groups planning a presence in Cleveland include some Tea Party-affiliated organizations, a new group called Stop The Steal led by Trump ally Roger Stone, Citizens for Trump, and the Truckers for Trump group.
King, a veteran of Tea Party rallies, is coordinating with other groups and local police to obtain permits for marches and protests during the convention, and to hold a major rally in downtown Cleveland that will then march on the convention site.
"STOP THE STEAL"
Read more here.
# # #