RNC protesters dance in public fountain to promote anti-violence

Peaceful protest 2

Jenna Kuczkowski

A peaceful protest took place this Thursday evening in the center of the fountain in downtown Cleveland’s Public Square. Instead of having the protest surrounding the fountain, participants used the fountain as a means to come together, and sat in the middle of it.

“We’re here to protest (Donald) Trump and all the hate going on here,” said Maddy Yagg, a Connecticut resident.

Sitting among strangers during the protest, Yagg said she and her sister came to Cleveland to for the Republican National Convention.

Yagg held a sign that read “Love Trump’s Hate” as she sat with a group of eight other protesters.

Suddenly, a male drum player and female tambourine player approached the group in the fountain, and the entire group got up to dance to the music.

“It’s a nice thing they’re doing; it reminds me of the ’60s,” said Laura Champa from Lakewood who heard the music and came over to see what was happening. “I’m surprised more people haven’t joined them out there in the middle because it looks like fun.”

As they continued to dance, more people from the onlookers surrounding the fountain began to join the protesters in the water as they splashed around to the music.

“I’d rather see them dance than protest in the streets so I’m okay with it,” said Sgt. Joseph Rini of the Cleveland Police Department who was standing off to the side of the protest with the other officers on bikes.

Other onlookers had different opinions.

“They look foolish out there in the fountain,” said Becky Whitfield of Lorain.

Whitfield said while she understood the protest was promoting peace, that “a bunch of people shaking their butts” doesn’t send a good message.

Sean Maupin from Denver, Colorado, who took part in the protest and held a sign reading “Tired of violence” during the sit-in, said he was exactly that—tired of the violence in the world.

“I’m against violence. I’m tired of cops dying, I’m tired of people dying,” Maupin said. “I’m not a violent person so I try to stop violence any way I can.”

Contact Jenna Kuczkowski at [email protected].