Cleveland – Donald Trump has said “build a wall.” And they did.
To chants of “No Paper, No Fear” and “Undocumented, Unafraid,” about 200 demonstrators made their way from Cleveland’s Public Square to the entrance of the Quicken Loans Arena to protest the Republican National Convention. The protesters fanned out in front of the arena to create a banner wall, inscribed with the slogan “Wall of Trump,” that stretched the length of two city blocks.
“If you want a wall, we’ll give you a wall,” one protestor shouted over a megaphone to cheers from the crowd.
The protest was the brainchild of Mijente in Action, a group that calls itself “a new political home for Latinx and Chicanx organizing” and has been staunchly opposed to Trump’s immigration proposals. The group raised more than $15,000 to build the 15,000-foot wall, which it says is meant to “wall off [Trump’s] hate.”
“We’re showing him that we don’t agree with his policies, particularly his immigration policies,” Ernesto Lopez, a Mijente organizer from Phoenix told Fox News Latino. “Even though Trump says Latinos love him, around my community I can tell that people don’t view him favorably at all.”
Trump has made the border wall a staple of his campaign since Day 1. His call for such hardline immigration policies has drawn some criticism, but has earned him many supporters among working-class voters.
Mijente’s wall comes as the GOP coalesces around Trump’s idea of a border wall – a draft of the party’s official platform explicitly calls for the wall's construction – and only two days after RNC delegates heard pleas from convention speakers to bump up border security and deport undocumented immigrants.
“I have been talking about illegal immigration since 2012, and no one listened until Donald Trump,” Sabine Durden, whose son Dominic was killed in a car accident caused by an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, said during the GOP convention on Monday. “Donald Trump is not only my hero he is my life saver.”
Joining Mijente in the protest was the non-profit Ruckus Society, the Other 98%, the Working Families Party and the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). These groups helped carry the wall to the Quicken Loans Arena.
Ramon Mejia, a United States Marine Corp veteran who served during the invasion of Iraq, told FNL that it was important for him and his fellow vets to be out in Cleveland supporting the immigration activists because he doesn’t want vets like him to be seen as supporters of Trump’s proposals.
“We need to show that we can’t be used as props,” Mejia said. “I’m not here to support propaganda. I’m here to support unity among people.”
While the protest was by far the most confrontational demonstration of the RNC so far – with the protestors blocking the entrance for media and delegates outside the Quicken Loans Arena for over an hour – there were no arrests reported and the protest went off peacefully. Cleveland Police blocked the entrance to the arena from the protestors, while state troopers from Indiana kept the protestors from advancing past the Q.
“We are out here with a message of peace and we came here peacefully,” Lopez said. “But we want to let people know that we’re against Trump’s polices and we’re going to do whatever we can to make sure his policies don’t go forward.”
Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.