Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters clashed Monday afternoon in their first confrontation of convention week. Law enforcement officials had to separate the groups outside of Settler's Landing Park just blocks away from the Quicken Loans Arena, where delegates had their own dramatic first day.
Trump supporters were out all afternoon holding a rally entitled America First, which brought a whole host of speakers including the famed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones was heckled during his speaking time by comedian Eric André.
The anti-Trump group, mostly of young people, tried to enter the park in the late afternoon and were met by local and state police officers, who created a human wall of separation for the two groups.
The wall of people did not stop Trevor Malen, an 18-year-old Michigan native from getting into a verbal argument with a protester. The heated discussion included Trump’s policies on immigration and proposed surveillance of Muslims.
(Editor's note: Video contains multiple instances of profanity)
“I’m so tired of people saying it [Islam] is a religion of peace,” Malen said to protesters before being separated. “Any country that has a history of terrorism shouldn’t be allowed to send people here. If you don’t like that you should leave the country.”
Eric Finman, another Trump supporter in the video, praised Trump for his efforts this campaign cycle to be more unconventional.
“I strongly believe that he [Trump] means it when he says he wants this country to be a better place for his kids,” Finman, who runs his own technology company in San Francisco, said.
Supporters of the anti-Trump movement chanted “Smash the system, smash the state. America was never great,” among other anti-Trump chants.
An officer from the Georgia State Patrol, one of the many law enforcement agencies in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, said he was pleased with how police were able to handle the situation.
“People are obviously allowed to disagree about things, we are just here to make sure nobody gets hurt,” he said.