A Lens on the GOP Convention: Protests, Police and Politics on Day 2 (Multimedia)

Protesters clash over the American flag in Cleveland's Public Square on the second day of the Republican convention. (John Minchillo / AP)

Editor’s note: Photojournalist Michael Nigro is in Cleveland to provide Truthdig with photos and videos of noteworthy moments from outside the 2016 GOP convention, where protesters and activists have gathered to express their views. Be sure to tune in to Truthdig daily this week to see Nigro’s dispatches.

CLEVELAND—The “presumptive” label no longer applies to Donald J. Trump. The property mogul turned reality star is now officially the Republican nominee for president. But while the dog-and-(ahem)-elephant show pranced and preened inside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, the tenor around the convention grounds, which were far more crowded than on Day 1, changed rather dramatically.

By noon, the veneer of calm revealed itself as a facade, and the omnipresent, overheard phrase of people telling each other to “be safe” was far more earnest.

As of 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday, there were no reported arrests, but the various acts of civil disobedience and performative actions, from both protesters and counterprotesters, were schismatic, vitriolic and aggressive when compared to Day 1’s passive and parade-like feel.

Law enforcement tactics turned into more combative posturing. Bikes were picked up and used as instruments of crowd control, riot units arrowed into the fray, and mounted units clopped around the perimeter of Cleveland’s Public Square. All the while, open carry gun owners holding AR-15s stood menacingly at the ready.

Welcome to Day 2.

A member of the West Ohio Minutemen stand on the perimeter of Cleveland’s Public Square, one of the main hubs for activists to gather. “We’re here to back up the police and exercise our rights,” he said.(Michael Nigro)

Cleveland is the city where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed by police while playing with a toy gun. Squirt guns are banned from the convention. This squirt gun was being used as part of a protest but was later confiscated and thrown away. (Michael Nigro)

Banned from the Republican National Convention. (Michael Nigro)

Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio denied having a photo op with the Donald Trump impersonator in the background. From 1977 to 1979, Kucinich was the 53rd mayor of Cleveland. (Michael Nigro)

Today’s car shot is brought to you by a Trump fan. (Michael Nigro)

Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams posed with a protester after breaking up the day’s first heated Second Amendment argument. The group eventually huddled together in prayer and then apologetically hugged (see video below). (Michael Nigro)

After various skirmishes, police craftily split the crowd and then hollowed out the middle. As more and more reinforcements arrived, they expanded their real estate by pushing outward.
(Michael Nigro)

More than 3,000 cops from many states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana and California have traveled to Ohio to back up the Cleveland Police Department. Here, a California Highway Patrol officer in riot gear enters the west side of Public Square. (Michael Nigro)

Members of a radical right-wing Christian group preached until police moved in to separate them from their opponents (see video below). (Michael Nigro)

Because he says so. (Michael Nigro)

A gun owner who said he was exercising his Second Amendment rights. (Michael Nigro)

Members of Code Pink, the Brady Campaign and the Center to Prevent Gun Violence dropped 500 tennis balls just outside the Republican National Convention entrance. The direct action was to staged to highlight the hypocrisy of allowing guns on the streets during the convention,although authorities considered possession of a tennis ball an arrestable offense (see video below). (Michael Nigro)

Brady Campaign and Code Pink members dumping tennis balls, which were confiscated. No one was arrested. (Michael Nigro)

Michael Nigro’s multimedia coverage for Truthdig of Day 3 of the Republican National Convention continues here. He also will be streaming live on his Facebook page during Day 3 of the Republican National Convention. Check out his videos below, and also look back at Nigro’s photo coverage of Day 1 here. You can also follow Truthdig’s live blog coverage of the convention here.

Michael Nigro is an award-winning filmmaker, Emmy-nominated writer-director and social justice activist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. His work as a photojournalist began during Occupy Wall Street, and later he was recognized with an Art & Activism Photography Prize by the Theo Westenberger Estates. In April of 2016, he was shortlisted for the British D&AD International Photography Award.
Michael Nigro
Michael Nigro is an award-winning filmmaker, Emmy nominated writer-director and social justice activist based in Brooklyn, New York. His work as a photojournalist began during Occupy Wall Street and later he…
Michael Nigro

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