Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Democratic National Convention Live Blog: Day 4

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 2:32 PM

2:31 p.m.
From Rebecca Addison


"F U 2016." It's what a lot of people are likely feeling several months into this seemingly endless election cycle. But it's also the campaign slogan for Frank Underwood, the U.S. president in the Netflix original series House of Cards.

Earlier today, Philadelphia-native Einass Mustafa was handing out t-shirts with the "FU '16" slogan outside of the DNC as part of a marketing campaign for the show.
"I think it's pretty comical because it's like a subliminal message," Mustafa says. "They're promoting their show by being controversial."

When Pittsburgh City Paper interviewed Mustafa as she and two others handed out the shirts, several people mistook them for an actual election campaign and asked if she was running for office.

"We've gotten a lot of people who are like 'are they running for president,'" Mustafa says. "A lot of people are uninformed in a lot of different ways in this country."

2:30 p.m.
From Ashley Murray

Apparently the RNC delegates do not have a monopoly on those stereotypical Texas delegates in cowboy hats. Last night on the convention floor, a few DNC revelers proudly sported the Texas cowboy-cowgirl hat. (Only, this one was bedazzled.)

1:45 p.m.
From Rebecca Addison
Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans - PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison
  • Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans
Last week, Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans was ejected from the Quicken Loans Arena for disrupting the Republican National Convention. During former presidential candidate Ben Carson's speech, she held a sign that read “No Racism No Hatred," before she was surrounded by a swarm of Republicans who covered her with American flags.

"In Cleveland people felt like they had the right physically touch me," she told Pittsburgh City Paper today at a Code Pink rally outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. "They were really rough. They tried to strangle me with my scarf."

Code Pink is an anti-war group that has been vocal on issues like drones, torture at Guantanamo Bay and conflicts in Israel and Iraq.

"Our mission is to end war and bring those funds home to our communities," says Evans. "We also have a campaign to demilitarize our communities."

Evans says Code Pink disrupts congress in Washington DC daily. Code Pink activists were present everyday of the RNC and have been present at every DNC evening session thus far.
"It's been completely different here than it was in Cleveland," Evans says. "At the DNC we've basically been escorted out after 10 minutes, and security hasn't been as rough with us. One man even thanked us."

And Code Pink activists aren't the only ones protesting on the DNC floor.

"Last night, the entire Oregon delegation disrupted by chanting 'No More War'," says Evans. "[The arena] just turned the lights out on them."

12:43 p.m.
From Ashley Murray
It was hard to miss Gretchen Baer's "Hillsuit" while in line for coffee this morning at the Old City Coffee kiosk in the Reading Terminal Market.

To say Baer, an artist from the border town of Bisbee, Ariz., loves Hillary Clinton is an understatement.

"This is a hand-painted Hillary jacket and suit. I've made a lot of them," Baer says. "I've traveled around the country in my Hill car. a painted art car covered in Hillary imagery, all sorts of gems and jewels and buttons and so forth. I traveled around in 2008 as well this year all over the country."

Baer says Clinton has inspired her work.

"I'm kind of an activist painter. One thing I do is I have a group called the border bedazzlers, and we paint with kids on the Mexican border," Baer says. "We're painting the world's longest kids mural. We've painted a mile so far with the Mexican kids on the Mexican side, It's actually inspired by Hillary, I love the kind of work she does, where she reaches out and tries to make other people's lives better."


12:14 p.m.
From Rebecca Addison
Robin Hood and his Merry Men have invaded the DNC. Or at least that's what you'd think after seeing the number of delegates wearing Robin Hood's trademark green hat.

The hats are actually a show of support for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. Last year, the former presidential candidate proposed the Robin Hood tax bill, a tax on Wall Street financial transactions that would pay for free tuition at public colleges and universities in the United States. The Robin Hood bill would also cut interest rates on existing student loans.

"We wear the hats because they go along with Bernie's philosophy of more fair wealth distribution," says Minnesota delegate Delia Jurek.

On day four of the convention, Jurek was visiting Philadelphia's famous Reading Terminal market. She said she was happy to have the opportunity to come to the convention to represent the many Bernie supporters back home in Minnesota.

"Bernie didn't get the nomination but he did what he set out to do," Jurek says. " He started a revolution."

11 a.m.:
From Editor Charlie Deitch

Even though we are in the final leg of the political convention season, it's just the start of what is surely to be a long, grueling and painful finish to the General Election in November. So, let's review the DNC's third day as we get ready for Hillary Clinton to take center stage to
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • President Obama
night to officially accept the party's nomination.

While tonight belongs to Hillary Clinton, Wednesday night belonged to Barack Obama. Say what you will, the man can give a speech and raly a crowd. Here's the full transcript of the speech, thanks to Newsweek, but here are some highlights and there were many:

"I’m here to tell you that, yes, we’ve still got more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who has not yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years....

"And that work involves a big choice this November. I think it's fair to say, this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice—about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.

"Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward. But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican—and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems—just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.

"...And then there’s Donald Trump. (Audience boos) Don't boo—vote. You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated. Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? If so, you should vote for him. But if you’re someone who’s truly concerned about paying your bills, if you're really concerned about pocketbook issues and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn’t even close."

"Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix. It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades—because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.

"And that's another bet that Donald Trump will lose. And the reason he'll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short. We're not a fragile people. We're not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled. Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that We the People, can form a more perfect union. That's who we are. That’s our birthright—the capacity to shape our own destiny."

From the "I'm with her, but he's not with me" department, I got a text last night from our Web Producer Alex Gordon calling my attention to this tweet:

We were both confused because we had no male reporters there yesterday and even if we did, he wouldn't be wearing a CP  t-shirt at a political convention. Sure we're the paper that recently brought you the "Shit List," but we do like to show a little more decorum than showing up at an event in our t-shirt. (Full disclosure, I am currently wearing a Pittsburgh Pirates shirt with a hole in the shoulder, but I don't plan on being seen by Hillary Clinton today.) I assured the commenters that whoever it was, he was not affiliated with our organization. We give out free t-shirts all the time.

Later, though I saw this tweet from our News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Now, I haven't found the video in question and I'm not sure if Jacob was the person they were talking about, but there's probably a fairly good chance it was. Jacob doesn't work for us, but we're glad he decided to go and check out the convention and that he's wearing our t-shirt. I'm not sure what the camera-crasher was up to, but at a political convention, could it really have been that strange?


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Democratic National Committee Live Blog: Day 3

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:39 PM

11:30 p.m.:

11 p.m.:

10:36 p.m.:
10:27 p.m.:

10:13 p.m.:

10:02 p.m.:
CP's Rebecca Addison and Ashley Murray are on the floor at the Democratic National Convention this evening. Here's a roundup of their best tweets:

8:18 p.m.

While speakers and celebrities walk on and off the DNC stage, CP's News Editor Rebecca Addison found this endorsement in the concourse of the Wells Fargo Arena.

7:33 p.m.
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray

Earlier this evening, former Obama campaign manager and senior adviser David Plouffe — and now volunteer with the Clinton campaign — addressed about 15 Eastern U.S. regional reporters on a number of issues, including what President Obama's remarks at the Democratic National Convention will include tonight.

"I just think he feels passionately about her," Plouffe says. "And I think that's what you're going to hear tonight, that she is the right person at this time."

He said that much like former President Bill Clinton's speech last night and First Lady Michelle Obama's speech Monday night, Obama's will focus on details people often don't hear about Hillary Clinton.

"[He's] going to talk about her and remind America and in some cases inform America about her life story and her strengths," says Plouff.

But the moment isn't lost on him: "Tonight's going to be a really interesting night for those who've been on the journey. To have Barack Obama giving one the more important speeches of his presidency to make sure Hillary Clinton succeeds him, given all the history [past them]. "

ICY(somehow)MI, the race between Obama and Clinton got, as heated political races do, pretty ugly in 2008.

But Plouffe says a Clinton follow-up to the Obama presidency would be historic. "If you can have 16 years of Obama and Clinton, in my personal view, that's a very important era for the American people."

President Obama is scheduled to speak tonight at 10 p.m.

6:40 p.m.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
Pa. Delegates and Pittsburgh residents Austin Davis and Kevin Carter - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Pa. Delegates and Pittsburgh residents Austin Davis and Kevin Carter
Pennsylvania delegates Kevin Carter, a Pittsburgh Public Schools director, and Austin Davis, a legislative aide for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, got into a h eated argument last year in the Abu Dhabi airport.

The two were on their way to the One Young World Summit when they started talking about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who were then the two front runners for the Democratic nomination for president. Carter was for Sanders and Davis was for Hillary.

At the DNC today, the two friends still support different candidates, but Carter says after the official nomination of Clinton last night, he's ready to throw his support behind her.

"Bernie ran a great campaign but he lost," says Carter. "Hillary is our nominee now and one day soon I'll wear a pin with her face on it like the one Austin is wearing."

This was the two Pittsburghers' first convention. And both agreed their favorite part was First Lady Michelle Obama's speech two nights ago.

"Michelle lit a fire under the party," Carter says.

"The convention has been overwhelming in a good way," says Davis. "It really gives you a sense of what we're fighting for."

6:28 p.m.:
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray
Protesters gathered all afternoon on the plaza between the Philadelphia Municipal Building and City Hall to air their grievances, both serious and whacky. While the majority were “Black Men for Bernie” demonstrators, across the way were Westboro Baptist Church members — or wackos as they’ve become known in pretty much every corner of the country, or people who were inspired by them. Then, on a concrete planter in robes, swishing his sandy blonde hair and waving a staff in one hand and a peace sign in the other, stood a man who would only identify himself as "Philly Jesus." We couldn't help but ask a couple questions. 
Philly Jesus gets his sermon on with Paper-Mask Bernie Sanders - PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURRAY
  • Photo by Ashley Murray
  • Philly Jesus gets his sermon on with Paper-Mask Bernie Sanders

What exactly are you doing?
I'm imitating Jesus.

To get people to think about it. The same way people bring Jesus to the movies or to a play, I bring it to the street.

I have to ask. Are you a serious Christian?
I'm sincere, but I like to have fun with it.

Are you with those guys [the Westboro people screaming not very far from him]?
No. They're speaking truth, but they're not doing it with love. They're doing it too blunt. They're too aggressive. They're supposed to be more gentle.

I saw you shake hands with the guy in the Bernie mask.
Yea, I'm friends with sinners. God bless you.

6:20 p.m.:
From News Editor Rebecca Addison

It's not Coachella or Woodstock, but PoliticalFest in the Pennsylvania Convention Center today provided a respite from the high temps and heated discourse outside of the DNC in
South Carolina delegate Jeff Mars - hall tries on a robe from Rocky - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • South Carolina delegate Jeff Marshall tries on a robe from Rocky
 Philadelphia. The nonpartisan festival with locations around the city celebrates the history of politics and government.

South Carolina delegates Jeff and Jennifer Marshall, a husband and wife duo, checked out the gift shop where Jeff tried on an American flag robe evoking Philadelphia-based boxing film Rocky.

"[The DNC has] been amazing," Jeff said with matching stars-and-stripes boxing gloves covering his hands. "I'm learning a lot about the delegate process and enjoy working with delegates from other states."

Also at PoliticalFest was Philly native Nakia Happli who traveled back to her hometown from California to visit family. She brought her two children to the festival today.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to be a part of the Democratic National Convention," Happli said as her son and daughter took turns playing red white and blue cornhole. "This summer I'm trying to teach them about history and politics."

The exhibit also featured word art by Dan Duffy who was creating a picture of Philadelphia made up of words visitors submitted to answer the question "What is liberty to you?" So far, the most popular words submitted have been freedom, equality and destiny.

"Some kid came in yesterday and wrote Pokemon," said Mark Berman who was helping facilitate the artwork. "We've also had a few people say cheesesteaks."

5:16 p.m.

4:40 p.m.
Reporter Ryan Deto is driving back from Philly but filed this story first comparing the protests at the to those at the RNC:

Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters march down Broad Street in Philadelphia. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters march down Broad Street in Philadelphia.

On the first day of the Democratic National Convention, thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters and Green Party backers filled the busiest street in Downtown Philadelphia and marched miles down Broad Street from city hall to the DNC site in South Philadelphia. Dozens of police officers followed along, some on bikes, some in squad cars, but some just stood on the corners, watching and chatting with passersby.

This march wasn't an isolated event. Hundreds of marchers paraded from Camden, N.J. to Center City the Sunday before the convention kicked off; and on Tuesday, Black Lives Matters protesters marched more than six miles from the rougher neighborhoods of North Philadelphia to the convention site. All the while, the police have been amiable.

During the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in contrast, protesters were constantly surrounded by police, many donned in full riot gear. City Paper followed a march of a dozen protesters from the ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist Church, and they were fully surrounded by officers on bikes for the entirety of the march. Police even barred CP from speaking to the marchers.

Some demonstrators said the constant presence of officers, many of whom seemed on edge, created a “police-state” like environment at the RNC. As CP wrote this week, the protests at the RNC were far more timid than most expected and Cleveland, outside of the square-mile of the convention site, was a ghost town with many locals electing to take vacations during the week of the GOP shaos.

But the DNC has been different. Protesters have consistently praised the police for their behavior and the city is slightly busier than usual, since the streets are filled with the normal Philly locals, Democratic delegates, and protesters.
“It has been very peaceful, the police have been great,” said Lynn Dady, a protester from Florida who 
Lynn Dady (second from right) and her friends have been demonstrating in FDR Park all week for the DNC. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Lynn Dady (second from right) and her friends have been demonstrating in FDR Park all week for the DNC.
has been camping out in the convention-adjacent FDR park since Sunday. “Totally different from what I saw at the RNC, this has been awesome.”

But, just because police in Philadelphia have been friendlier to protesters doesn't mean everyone has. DNC delegates seem to be giving them the cold shoulder.

Dady said on Monday, the first day of the convention, delegates walked right past the protesters demonstrating in FDR Park. But the next day, delegates entered the Wells Fargo arena site hundreds of yards from the gates, often with their view obstructed by buses.

“Apparently they did not like being harassed, and by harassed I mean listing to other people's opinions,” said Dady. “If they are going to put blinders on when they are here, that is not fair.”

In Cleveland, while the protest area in front of conventions entrance was very small small and police formed human barriers for delegates, the RNC participants were forced to walk directly past protesters on their way in.
Police observing the lead up to a Green Party march, some officers are on their cell phones. - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Police observing the lead up to a Green Party march, some officers are on their cell phones.
4:30 p.m.
From Editor Charlie Deitch
Members of "First Lady Bill, a pro-Hillary Clinton LGBT and gender equality campaign - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Members of "First Lady Bill, a pro-Hillary Clinton LGBT and gender equality campaign
Earlier we posted a tweet from what we thought was an anti-Hillary Clinton group that featured a caricature of former President Bill Clinton in a dress. The group is called "First Lady Bill" and it's not anti-Hillary, in fact it's the exact opposite.

According to their website,, it's an LGBT and gender equality campaign "to put a woman in the White House." 

"Hillary's campaign is all about breaking barriers," the website says. "Barriers that keep women stuck being paid less than men - for the exact same work. Barriers that have transgender people being targeted for discrimination in bathrooms across the country (this pisses us off). Barriers to equality that make it still legal in most states to fire people simply for being LGBT. Now, more than ever, we need a president who can break down gender discrimination barriers that hold back equality for all Americans. That's why we're with her!

"Sexist, homophobic and transphobic gender "rules" are a drag. And what better way to highlight the "herstoric" importance of putting a woman in the White House than having fun with her husband in drag as "First Lady"? We're all about making voters grin and putting a little more "party" in our political party. “Bill for First Lady” is a can’t-help-but-smile way to say “Hillary for president!" 

We're hoping to have more from the group in the day's ahead.

4:11 p.m.
From News Editor Rebecca Addison
Idaho Delegate Marcy Phillips - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Idaho Delegate Marcy Phillips

Idaho delegate Marcy Phillips has traveled a lot of miles to give a gift to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 

When the Iranian-American came to the United States 40 years ago, she bought a notebook to write her life story in. Now that notebook is filled with signatures and notes from people from 50 states and she hopes to give it to Clinton.

In Philadelphia today she collected a few more entries from women wishing the country's first female presidential nominee luck.

"It's a present from me to her," Phillips says. "I'm proud to be an American."

3:41 p.m.:
From Rebecca Addison
For the past two weeks, protesters on both sides of the aisle have complained that the Democratic Primary system was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton. The recent emails released by Wikilinks that cost the head of the Democratic National Committee her job has only bolstered those claims. However, the leaders of Emerge America are here to remind the country of one simple fact — the deck has long been stacked against women running for office.
Ayanna Presley shakes hands with a fellow female delegate - PHOTO COURTESY OF EMERGE AMERICA
  • Photo courtesy of Emerge America
  • Ayanna Presley shakes hands with a fellow female delegate
"Certainly in the women's community we are out of our minds with excitement about Hillary Clinton's nomination. And to have that overshadowed is disappointing," says Andrea Dew Steele, president and founder of Emerge. "I absolutely think that should be the main story. We're here in Philadelphia where women were not even a part of the founding documents."

Emerge is a training program for Democratic women aimed at increasing the number of like-minded females in public office. At the DNC they stressed the importance of their mission despite the negativity surrounding the presidential election.

"Many might be inclined to say the system is broken," says Ayanna Pressley, a member of the Boston City Council who was the first woman of color to be elected to the council in its 106-year history. "But we believe in the progress government can actualize...and we know the key to getting there is getting more women elected. The barriers that stand in our way are real, they are formidable, and we have earned our seat at the table."

3:07 p.m.:
From Rebecca Addison
Woman screams at pro-life activist - PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Woman screams at pro-life activist
Prior to the start or the We the People Restoration Rally, Texas native Keith Moore stood off to the side as people with varying signs and t-shirts milled around. His shirt, supporting the music group Anti-Flag was very anti-Trump.

"I've been anti-Trump for a very long time, but I live in a very conservative part of Texas," says Moore, who would only talk with Pittsburgh City Paper after checking out our Website to verify our street-cred. "For the most part people back home just look away when I wear my shirt, but I've had a couple good conversations, only a few confrontations."
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Joel Bradshaw

An hour later, a confrontation erupted at the rally when a pro-life protester holding one of those gory pictures pro-life protesters are so fond of, tried to steal focus away from the speakers. Many in the crowd, who were there to protest Hillary Clinton's nomination, quickly attempted to block the man's sign and another tried to destroy it.

Unlike at the Republican National Convention last week, where the police presence was so thick officers sometimes outnumbered protestors, the confrontation didn't draw a mob of police officers into the fray. Instead the man and his opponents were allowed to have a frank discussion (albeit screaming at the top of their lungs).
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Keith Moore

Today's rally served as a space for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders to mourn last night's nomination of Hillary Clinton. Many Democratic delegates pledged to leave the party as a result and continued the "Bernie or Bust" refrain.

"The election was rigged for the coronation of Hillary Clinton," says Joel Bradshaw from Schenectady, New York whose hatred for the Democratic nominee mirrored sentiments spewed at the RNC last week. "There's going to be a mass Dem exit. If we have to bring the guillotine down on Queen Killary, we will because this is a democracy, not an oligarchy."

2 p.m.:

From Charlie Deitch

News Editor Rebecca Addison has been covering the "We the People Restoration Rally" in Philadelphia where she's seen altercations and no love for the Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

12:44 p.m.:
From News Editor Rebecca Addison

If you want to attend Black Men for Bernie's "How Our Revolution Continues Social" tomorrow night, it will cost you anywhere between $2.70 and $270,000

For those earning "a living wage" the admission price on a sliding scale is $27. Tickets are $270 for "working families." But if you're really serious about the revolution, why not pay the "it's up to us" ticket price of $2,700 or the "not me us" price of $27,000?

"We're basically saying everyone can come," says Bruce Carter, founder of Black Men for Bernie, a Dallas-based group supporting former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Too often people are excluded from events. Right now, the events at the DNC, people are excluded from them."

Carter's organization has been hosting events in Philadelphia all week and today they're hosting "A Day for Bernie at the DNC" at the plaza at 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd.

"The message we deliver at every event is about people," Carter says. "There's a war between the classes right now. Everyone's focusing on race but it's really about class. It's starting to really frustrate people."

12:19 p.m.:

12:11 p.m.:

9 a.m.
By Ryan Deto
Bernie Sanders Supporters decry trade deals, but buy Central American-made t-shirts

Political Storm t-shirt sold for $2 and made in Nicaragua - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Political Storm t-shirt sold for $2 and made in Nicaragua

In 2007, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sponsored a bill to ban U.S. companies from purchasing products made with sweatshop labor. He has also been a staunch advocate throughout his presidential campaign for bringing jobs back to America that have been shipped overseas. Many of his supporters in crowds during speeches and at rallies hold signs up saying "no TPP" (Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, which critics say would cost many Americans their jobs).

So why then, are many of his supporters buying Sanders-related t-shirts that are made in Caribbean and Central American countries, which are notorious for manufacturing shirts in sweatshop-like conditions?

Many t-shirt hawkers and unofficial vendors have set up booths and roam FDR Park, the site of a demonstration camp against the Democratic National Convention. They are selling shirts with “Feel the Bern” emblazoned on the front for about $20. One booth selling tie-dyed Sanders shirts has sold more than 50 since setting up shop yesterday. Another salesperson on foot said he has sold two dozen shirts in about an hour. The shirts were made in Honduras and Haiti, respectively.

Canada-based clothing giant Gildan was listed on the tag of many of the shirts. Workers at a Gildan factory in Haiti have said they earn about $12 per day, and the company has been accused of many poor labor practices, according to the Washington Post.

Two young salesmen hauling around a suitcase full of shirts are trying to mix selling the shirts with spreading their message. Political Storm is a citizen-journalist website where everyday people can have their "voice heard and engage in respectful but passionate dialogue." The shirts costs $2 each and about five people bought Nicaraguan-made shirts in the vicinity of City Paper
Harvey Dosik, one of the few unofficial vendors selling American-made shirts - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Harvey Dosik, one of the few unofficial vendors selling American-made shirts
 at FDR Park. One woman commented how inexpensive the shirts were.

Paige Sheena, a Sanders supporter from South Carolina, bought two shirts. She said she supported Sanders for his focus on the woman's rights, racial injustice and for his criticism of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. She was not initially aware the shirts were made in Nicaragua, but said the “shirt is about the message, and she would have bought if the message was on a piece of paper.”

The shirts sold inside the Wells Fargo Arena, where the speeches take place, are all American made. But, the majority of shirts sold to the die-hard Sanders supporters outside were made on foreign soil. However, one vendor was selling U.S. made shirts.

“This shirt support American workers,” said Harvey Dosik from Santa Cruz, Calif. “American workers are pissed off, and that is why they support Sanders.”

Dosik is selling his shirts for $20 each, and while a protester did purchase one of his shirts, Dosik might have trouble competing with a $2 price tag regardless of where it's made.

Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday evening - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday evening
7:48 p.m.:
By Charlie Deitch

While he wasn't the keynote speaker on Tuesday night, Pittsburgh Police Chief Cam McLay made an impact at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Fortune Magazine points out that unlike the hard-line law-and-order, blue-lives-matter approach of the GOP and their nominee, Donald Trump, the Dems are trying to find a more balanced approach

McLay acknowledged the tough job facing officers while at the same time, recognizing racial inequities in policing.

"As a police officer that has served for more than 30 years, let me say this: We can respect and support our police officers while also pushing for important reforms. We can and must do both," McLay said. "... We must each fight our natural tendency to hide inside our narrow world view, and instead seek common ground with the objective of creating an America that truly provides liberty and justice for all. " 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Democratic National Committee Live Blog: Day 2

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM

10:36 p.m.:

10:30 p.m.:

10:09 p.m.:

9:45 p.m.

By Charlie Deitch
Nerds come in all shapes and sizes and each one has the object of their nerdness. I've seen superhero nerds (everyday in the mirror); I've seen computer nerds; video game nerds and sci-fi nerds (Han Solo dies! Han Solo Dies). But CP's Ryan Deto may be the first Howard Dean nerd I've ever encountered: 

9:09 p.m.:

8:54 p.m.:

When words can't capture the excitement...Say it with GIFs

8:30 p.m.:
7:20 p.m.

After Hillary Clinton officially received the Democratic nomination for president, CP's Ryan Deto reports that Bernie Sanders delegates crowded the media tent, saying "we are not ok" with the nomination. "This is about the lack of media holding the DNC accountable," South Carolina delegate Michele Horne says.

Eastern Michigan University students Amanda Mayer and Eliza Tremblay - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Eastern Michigan University students Amanda Mayer and Eliza Tremblay

4:00 p.m.

Pittsburgh City Paper spoke to two young Bernie Sanders protesters, who came all the way from eastern Michigan to be a part of the commotion at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week.

"We are here to solve the problems of our young generation," said Eliza Tremblay, a student at Eastern Michigan University. "We want to focus on women and minority rights and the environment."

Tremblay and her friend Amanda Mayer, say they reject the idea that all people supporting Sanders or Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein have to now pledge to vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"The only wasted vote happens when you don't vote," said Tremblay.

The two students were on their way to a climate change protest in Center City. Mayer said that Philadelphia has been a good host and a fair place to have her voice heard.

The only problem they have had, which is one of the most stereotypically Philadelphia problems of all: they got a parking ticket.

So before they continued on to the rally, they remembered to fill the parking meter.

1:30 p.m.
From Ryan Deto
: Today, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald spoke to delegates at a luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel. 

Tina Shannon of New Brighton in Beaver County - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Tina Shannon of New Brighton in Beaver County
12:30 p.m.
Interview with Beaver County progressive
By Ryan Deto

On a night full of some inspiring speeches (New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and First Lady Michelle Obama) and some duller addresses (Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren), the most controversial issue ended up coming from comedian Sarah Silverman.

Silverman has been a long-time supporter of former presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but said to the “Bernie of Bust” people in the crowd: “You are being ridiculous.”

And Silverman's not the only one. Along with calls for unity and her endorsement of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, some other southwestern Pennsylvania Sanders supporters seem to be moving on from any “Bernie or Bust” notions.

Tina Shannon, a Progressive Democrats of America chapter leader from Beaver County, said she and her group will be pivoting away from the candidates and focusing on the issues in the run-up to the general elections in November.

“It is about the issues, that has been my experience,” said Shannon.

Shannon is a Sanders supporter and her husband is a Sanders delegate. She expressed some disappointment in Sanders losing out on the nomination, but praised some of the more progressive parts of the Democratic party platform.

“We are gonna take the Democratic platform and take the progressive message to Beaver County and the 12th congressional district,” said Shannon. (Pennsylvania’s 12th U.S. Congressional District is currently held by Republican Keith Rothfus, but he faces a challenge from Democrat Erin McClelland come November).

Shannon said she has had success over the years convincing many older, white and labor-friendly residents to support progressive causes and expects to do even better this year.

Cameron McLay
  • Cameron McLay

11:30 a.m. 
Pre-Convention News Roundup
By Rebecca Addison

Day two of the Democratic National Convention is underway. While today's schedule promises to be packed, last night's speakers lineup, which included First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Bernie Sanders, will be difficult to top.

"Tonight's convention confirmed that progressives have achieved a major victory in shifting the center of gravity in the Democratic Party. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and others showed the nation tonight that Democrats are unifying around big, bold progressive issues. After years of hard work, the party's center of gravity has shifted to a bold, progressive agenda that includes debt-free college, expanding Social Security, $15 minimal wage, public option and Wall Street reform," Kait Sweeney, press secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a statement last evening.

Tonight will include appearances by President Bill Clinton, actress Meryl Streep, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. But for Pittsburghers, one of the highlights will be Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay who will be speaking during the social justice portion of the evening.

According to a statement issued by the city: "Chief McLay is tentatively scheduled to address the DNC sometime between 8-9 p.m., and speak on Pittsburgh's efforts to adopt the best practices community policing. In March 2015 Pittsburgh was chosen as one of six cities nationwide to participate in the U.S. Department of Justice's National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. The initiative's goal is to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system, as well as to advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships"

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Free Admission to Pittsburgh-area Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village this weekend

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:49 PM

If you've never been to this remarkable historic site and history center just an hour west of Pittsburgh, — and plenty of Pittsburghers haven't — this offer of free entry is the perfect excuse.

  • Photo courtesy of John Heinz History Center
  • Meadowcroft Rockshelter
Meadowcroft, in Avella, Washington County, is home to what's touted as the longest continuous site of human habitation in North America: a massive rock overhang used as a seasonal shelter by Native Americans as long as 16,000 years ago.

In addition to interpretive exhibits about that attraction, Meadowcroft (part of the John Heinz History Center), also includes a replica of a 16th-century Eastern Woodland Indian Village and two 1770s-era structures like those European settlers would have inhabited in the Upper Ohio Valley.

Visitors can use an atlatl — a spear-throwing implement used by prehistoric hunters — watch a blacksmithing demonstration, and more.

Courtesy of the Jack Buncher Foundation, admission to Meadowcroft is free this Saturday and Sunday for all adults, children and seniors. 

Meadowcroft is open noon-5 p.m. on Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, see here.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

More than 100 gather in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park for a giant pillow fight

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Pillow Fight
Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight Pillow Fight

Pillow Fight

Photos by Stephen Caruso

Click to View 28 slides

Dexter Cummings, age six, and his friend Riley Estep, age eight, showed up to Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park on Sunday ready for battle — or a perhaps a pleasant slumber.

“I like smacking people with pillows,” the veteran Cummings said, who's been involved in the semi-annual pillow fights organized by Frank Halling since he was three. He grips his chosen weapon, a cushion with a red polka dot case, with knowledge.

Halling, a Pittsburgh native and U.S. Army veteran, took up the pillow fight — now in its tenth iteration — from a friend and folded it into his schedule of events as the organizer of Free and Almost Free in Pittsburgh Meetup, which as a rule hosts events “for five dollars or less.”

“I’m a believer in silliness,” Halling said. “There’s no objective, there’s no real organization ... no goal, it's cacophony.”

This desire for fun brought out about 120 people — and one alien — for 15 minutes of fluffy assault at a still sweaty dusk.

Ricky Smoove showed up armed with a typical white cased club and his niece, Sabrina Silver.

“We’re looking at it as we’re against everyone,” Smoove said. “[It’s] a team-building exercise.”

That didn’t stop Silver from playfully landing a few hits on Smoove as well.

The fight had only a three rules — no hits to the head, only attack the armed, and don’t hit someone who is down to get their plushy cudgel. This meant old and young faced off in combat on the hill top — not that it bothered Smoove.

“I’m not above hitting a little kid with a pillow,” Smoove said with a smile. “If they're old enough to step into the ring …”

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City Paper's Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Live Blog: Day 1

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM

11:10 p.m. 
From Ryan Deto:
And now for the main event, former Hillary Clinton opponent Bernie Sanders has taken the stage. "Based on her ideals, Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States," Sanders said. 

10:45 p.m. 
From Ryan Deto: Fan favorite, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses audience at Wells Fargo Center.

10:10 p.m.
From Ryan Deto: First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the stage. 9:20 p.m.
From Ryan Deto: comedian Sarah Silverman, a longtime supporter of former presidential candidate  Bernie Sanders, is calling on Sanders' supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton.  8:45 p.m.
From Ryan Deto: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Scranton) is at the podium during night one of the DNC.

  • Photo by Ryan Deto
8:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto says next president will shape Pittsburgh's future

By Ryan Deto

At a meeting of Democratic mayors from across the country, Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto spoke about the future that cities will play in shaping our nation. Peduto was praised by other city leaders for his idea to use Section 8 housing vouchers to help low-income residents purchase homes.

When asked about future support from the federal government for cities like Pittsburgh, Peduto said the difference between a Donald Trump presidency and a Hillary Clinton presidency would be "night and day"

"One wants to invest in people, in cities, in programs, and believes that government has a role in making people's lives better, and the other is Donald Trump," said Peduto. "There is a very big disconnect that I worry about."

Peduto said there is a nonprofit in Pittsburgh seeking funding, and he could only promise them one year of funding because of uncertainty over who the next U.S. president will be. Some federal grant programs could be eliminated under Trump.

His message to Pittsburgh voters: be involved. "I am not gonna say who they should support, but look at the whole picture," Peduto said. "How will we advance as a group and how will we be perceived by he rest of the world."

4:15 p.m.
John Fetterman - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • John Fetterman
3:30 p.m.
Braddock mayor John Fetterman urges Western Pennsylvanians to vote for Clinton
By Ryan Deto

At a panel discussion for Keystone Progress, a statewide progressive political group, Braddock mayor and former U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman said not supporting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a de facto vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“We have to defeat Donald Trump,” said Fetterman. “If you are not going to vote for Clinton, you might as well fit yourself for a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap… If you have been thinking about voting for anyone other than Hillary Clinton, you are playing Russian roulette with your country’s future. It is just that straight-up simple.”

At the discussion today, Fetterman spoke to the many progressives and Democrats voting for a third party in the presidential election. The event was part of Keystone Progress' participation in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

Earlier this month, Fetterman officially backed Clinton, and said he got some “chin music” for the endorsement, considering his early endorsement of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in the primary elections.

Some in the crowd of 30 indicated that they would be supporting Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, since their first pick, Sanders lost out to Clinton in the primary elections. Fetterman urged them not to waste their vote, because of the potential chaos that could erupt if Trump were elected and since, he said, Clinton and Sanders are not different enough to justify a third party vote.

“Sanders and Stein agree on 99 percent of policies, but Clinton and Sanders are like 91 percent compatible,” said Fetterman. “You want to throw away your vote for 8 percent?”

Fetterman says Trump’s support in many Western Pennsylvania towns is growing. “I see three Trump signs for every one Clinton sign in Western Pa,” he said. He says many communities in the region have struggled over the decades and could be wooed by Trump’s claims to bring steel and heavy manufacturing jobs back.

“If you are thirsty in a mirage, you will drink the sand,” said Fetterman. “And Donald Trump can have a seductive quality because he says he is going to bring steel back and going to bring coal back. And nobody likes the economic misery that has visited that part of state, but the answer isn't Trump.”

He urged voters not to fall for the lure of Trump because he is already seeing many communities start to improve economically. But he also said that Trump’s visit to Monessen, Pa. should have been a wake up call for the Democratic Party to pay attention to the region. Fetterman said he is at the Clinton campaign’s service to deliver Western Pennsylvania for the Democrats.

And Fetterman could have some sway among Western Pennsylvania counties, considering he won Allegheny County in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary elections and also performed very well in other surrounding counties.

Fetterman also commented on the resignation of DNC chair and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz with humor. “Glad to see she finally listened to my campaign,” he joked. (Fetterman called for Wasserman Schultz to resign because of her legislative support for payday loans.) 

Fetterman also believes that Wasserman Schultz's resignation will help unify the democratic Party. “It can help the party heal and come together,” he said. 

Alyson Kennedy - PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Alyson Kennedy

1:15 p.m.
Conversation with Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party presidential nominee
By Ryan Deto

Outside of Philadelphia city hall, surrounded by pro-immigration activists and a group of former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters, a lesser-known presidential nominee pleaded her case today.

"The reason I am campaigning is because there has been an assault on the working class," said Alyson Kennedy, who is running for president on the Socialist Workers Party ticket.

Kennedy grew up in Indianapolis, Ind. and has worked to desegregate schools in Louisville, Ky. and also with coal miners in Utah and West Virginia.

She says that workers rights are tied to immigrants rights, since many immigrants work in fields that would benefit from labor supports.

"We should view [immigrant] workers as our brothers," said Kennedy.

Kennedy said removing the capitalist system from our economy will benefit workers and that "working people are the ones creating the wealth" in the United States.

In reference to the coal industry, Kennedy said coal mining could be brought back and provide electricity to third-world areas that don't have electricity. When asked about the effect on the environment, Kennedy said that better "scrubbers" could be used to clean plants and that increased investment could also lead to expansion of clean coal.

Kennedy will be visiting western Pennsylvania and meeting with coal miners in the run up to the presidential election.

12:13 p.m.:

11:27 p.m.:

Pennsylvania Senate Candidate Katie McGinty to speak at DNC Thursday
By Charlie Deitch

Pa. Democratic Senatorial candidate Katie McGinty's campaign has announced that she will address the Democratic National Convention Thursday night in her hometown of Philadelphia.

According to to a release McGinty said:

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to address DNC delegates and the nation at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening,” said McGinty. “This year’s Democratic National Convention is particularly special for me since it is taking place in my hometown of Philadelphia, a city that represents the values that make our country great: diversity, equality, hard work, and caring for each other. I look forward to highlighting the clear choice facing voters in this election between the Democratic vision of expanding opportunity and bringing people together versus the divisive, anti-middle class policies championed by the Trump-Toomey ticket.”

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Pittsburgh earlier this year - CITY PAPER FILE PHOTO
  • City Paper File Photo
  • Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Pittsburgh earlier this year
Pre-Convention News Roundup
By Charlie Deitch

City Paper will be live in Philadelphia all this week starting today with staff writer Ryan Deto, who is driving across the state as we speak to attend Day one in Philadelphia. 

Today's major news is of course the fallout from the release of 20,000 emails by Wikileaks from the email servers of the Democratic National Committee. The emails outline a lot of things including the party's active attempts to discredit Bernie Sanders' campaign, when they were supposed to be neutral. At one point they plotted to attack the fact that Sanders is Jewish. So while Sanders'  endorsement of Clinton a few weeks a go was meant to create smooth sailing at the convention, his supporters are up in arms and protested yesterday, a day before the convention.

The email leak has resulted in the end of Debbie Wasserman Shultz's five-year run as DNC Chair. Wasserman Schultz resigned Sunday under pressure from the party to do so. Wasserman Schultz will step down after the convention and she is being permitted to gavel in the convention at 4:30 p.m. However, not everyone, or possibly anyone is excited to see her still around. Speaking to delegates from her home-state of Florida this morning, Wasserman Schultz was heckled and booed.

The controversy isn't something the Clinton campaign needed, especially after Republican Donald Trump's huge bounce in the polls on the heels of the RNC. Trump has taken the lead over Clinton in national polls. 

It was a rough weekend for Clinton, who on Friday named VirginaSen.  Tim Kaine as her running mate. More than one media outlet called Kaine, Clinton's "safe choice." Kaine is a moderate when many in the party's more liberal base had hoped she'd pick someone a little more left of center. As expected, Trump began attacking Kaine on Meet The Press this Sunday and Poltifact has already rated all of his claims against the Senator false or worse.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers Training-Camp Schedule Released

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin observes his team at training camp in August 2015 - PHOTO BY AARON WARNICK
  • Photo by Aaron Warnick
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin observes his team at training camp in August 2015
Since the Pirates are starting to have their struggles, maybe it’s time to start looking ahead to Pittsburgh Steelers training camp at St. Vincent’s College, in Latrobe.

The team will open camp on July 28, with the first public practice on July 29. The Steelers were 10-6 last season, and any hope of bettering that mark starts with what Coach Mike Tomlin once famously called “football in sweatpants.”

As in previous years, City Paper will be live at training camp preparing our 2016 Steelers Preview. If you're in the mood to read about them now, check out our preview from last year and see how close we were in our predictions. According to a release from St. Vincent’s College: “Fourteen public practices are scheduled this summer with a special 7 p.m. night practice set for Friday, Aug. 5, at Latrobe Memorial Stadium preceded by Steeler Fest in downtown Latrobe from noon to 6 p.m.”

The full release from St. Vincent’s is after the jump.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Republican National Convention Live Blog: Day 4

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 10:37 PM

10:38 p.m.:

10:37 p.m.:

10:28 p.m.:

10:27 p.m.:

10:20 p.m.:

10:05 p.m.:

News Editor Rebecca Addison is streaming live from the RNC Convention Floor on City Paper's Facebook Page:
9:42 p.m.:

9:40 p.m.:

9:29 p.m.

From Editor Charlie Deitch
News Editor Rebecca Addison just sent this tweet:
Maybe he has a good sense of humor.... I've always wondered if he thought this was a good one:

9:16 p.m.:
8:40 p.m.:
From Ryan Deto
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
After a long and exhaustive search (it was also exhausting because it's been hot out here all week), City Paper found the only voter registration booth near the Republican National Convention. And “near” might be a stretch considering the booth is about a mile away from the Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the convention. There are none inside the convention perimeter; none in the demonstration-filled Public Square; none on the pedestrian-only street East 4th Street, which is filled with convention tourists and Ohio locals. This comes at a time when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has consistently claimed how many new voters he has brought in while campaigning.

The lonely booth in Willard Park, which is mostly cut off to vehicular traffic thanks to security, was set up by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. Patricia Carter of the non-partisan LWV said the league saw an opportunity to get voters registered considering the traffic created by the convention. But so far, they have registered just 15 new voters over four days.

When they applied for tent spot with the City of Cleveland, city officials said they could place their booth in Willard Park or Perk Plaza, which is slightly closer, but still a 10 minute walk to the convention site.

“We believe we should get everyone to vote,” said LWV co-president Susan Marnane. “That is how the best decisions get made.”

Additionally, there appeared to been little voter-registration presence in Pubic Square whatsoever. City Paper spoke with several legal observers who are assigned to watch the action, and they said they have not seen any person going around and asking people to register to vote. Natasha Segarra, a Downtown Cleveland resident who has been a regular at Public Square during the convention said she has not seen people trying to resister people to vote, either.

“There is a lot of potential for voter registration,” said Segarra. “I think it is really weird, especially because [Ohio] is a swing state.”

In fact, Ohio has been losing registered voters of the years. The Buckeye State expires voters if they fail to frequently vote and tens of thousands of voters will have to re-register if they wish to vote in the November election, according to Reuters.

Emily Waters, a paid political petitioner attempting to get Ohio voters to sign her petition in Public Square, was baffled that there were no voter registration presence close to the convention.

“Why are they not registering people to vote? That is fucked up,” said Walters. “This is an amazing opportunity, either they don't want people to vote or they are just missing out.”

It could be the former. CP reported on July 20, that Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said to a group of young Republicans attending the RNC: “I don't' want to increase voter turnout unless they vote for me.”

8:15 p.m.:

8:00 p.m. 

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Cuyahoga County resident Peter Jedick is at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week to promote his new book How Democrats Bankrupted America. According to Jedick, the book examines America's debt crisis and provides solutions for solving it.

"We have this huge national debt that nobody wants to talk about," says Jedick.

Despite its importance, Jedick says the debt crisis hasn't garnered as much attention in the upcoming presidential election as it should.

"Trump has mentioned it. He talked about renegotiating," says Jedick. "But the solutions he comes up with aren't well thought out. I don't think he's going to think real hard about anything until he gets in [to office.]"

Because of his passion over the debt issue and the little faith he seems to have in Trump's ability to solve it, you'd think Jedick would be rethinking voting for his party's presidential candidate. He isn't.

"His personality isn't the greatest, but I'm a conservative Republican so he's who I'm going to go with," Jedick says.

The fact that many in the Republican party aren't a fan of Trump isn't new. Before his opponents dropped out of the race, many Republican leaders were hesitant to express support for the reality TV star who catapulted into notoriety thanks to an incurable case of verbal diarrhea.

While some delegates at the convention this week seemed to be hoping for a last minute hail mary, and Trump's former opponent Sen. Ted Cruz failed to endorse the Republican nominee in his speech last evening, most have resigned themselves to standing behind him.

One of the reasons seems to be that while Republicans like Jedick aren't sure Trump has actual plans for how he'll improve the country, they're confident he'll fill his cabinet with people who do.

"There comes a point where you have to embrace the unexpected, you have to embrace the unimaginable," says Florida delegate Sean Jackson, who initially supported Jeb Bush. "Even though Trump wasn't my first choice, I am learning every day what a formidable candidate he is. A perfect example is his running mate selection. I think he's doing a good job at putting in place people who will make America great again."

And other delegates at the RNC say even though Trump wasn't their first choice, his victory in November will ensure a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

"I switched to Trump after he became the last person out of the 17 that were running," says David Foreman, alternate delegate from Texas who supported Sen. Marco Rubio. "More important to me than Trump or even [Hillary] Clinton, is the issues. I support the issues. And I support the Republican party because we can't afford to have liberal justices appointed."

"If for no other reason, the Supreme Court is why you vote for him," says Arizona alternate delegate Corky Haynes. "He's also put out a list of the type of constitutionalist he would pick."

Haynes and fellow Arizona alternate Barbara Wylie of Grassroots Grandmas, a conservative Tea Party group, say Trump is filling his knowledge gaps with people and organizations like the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

"He knows he doesn't know it all," says Haynes.

"Like him or hate him, we need him," says Wylie. "And he's listening to the right people."

7:53 p.m.
From MultiMedia Editor Ashley Murray

About 15,000 journalists descended on Cleveland for the Republican National Convention this week, and the media center — dubbed "Media Row" — is full of work stations for nearly 90 outlets. There are the big players of course — CNN has its own CNN Grill just outside of the Quicken Loans Arena. But there's also a diverse range of outlets, from legacy media to two guys in a sound booth uploading to Soundcloud. There's media for media — Skype has partnered with the Associated Press to "offer a cost-efficient alternate solution to satellite broadcasting," a Skype representative tells City Paper's multimedia editor Ashley Murray.

Logo TV's — the LGBT-focused TV network — political correspondent Raymond Braun has been walking around inside and outside of the convention wearing a rainbow flag so LGBT Republicans "feel comfortable talking to me." The network is here looking at two main topics: the experience of being LGBT and Republican, and "how you reconcile being part of a party that adopted what is widely considered the most anti-LGBT platform ever," he says. "My mission is to bring LBGTQ issues front and center in American politics." Braun says he's spoken to most white gay men at the RNC, and says "They're saying 'Human beings are complex and the party does not represent all of our views, but we can make change by speaking out on what matters to us.'"

Al Jazeera network tells Murray they brought five teams from their Arabic, English and Balkan services as well as their Washington, D.C., bureau. "Al Jazeera Arabic [in Doha, Qatar] is going live to the RNC three times a day," AJ news producer Ahmed Alsamariaa says.

Down the hall at Media Row, at local CBS affiliate Cleveland 19 News, a station editor says work has been exciting and busy for his station between the Cavs' NBA championship win and the RNC. Anchor and reporter Dan DeRoos prepares for a live shot on a TV set. "It literally feels like Cleveland is spinning right now, but in a good direction."

6:40 p.m.

CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray also couldn't miss Pa. 12th District delegate Mike McMullen, who was walking around the RNC in a Crosby jersey with a Terrible Towel draped over his shoulder. You can take the delegate out of Pittsburgh, but you can't take the Pittsburgh (or, Pittsburgese, just listen) out of the delegate.

6:22 p.m.

CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray followed up with Desmond Harrison, the local vendor we covered on Tuesday. Harrison has since set up shop in a better spot — on Prospect and East 4th, across from the Q. Sandwiched between vendors who traveled from Nevada and Arizona, Harrison says he's barely broken $1,000. (He told CP on Tuesday that he invested $3,000 in product.) Still hopeful, he says "I learned a lot this week."

5:48 p.m.
From Editor Charlie Deitch:
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Charlie Deitch
  • Pastor Lori McPherson

It's north of 90 degrees, sweat is beading off her upper lip and Pastor Lori McPher son of Maryland says she has to stand in Public Square in front of anti-gay, anti-black, anti-immigrant, anti-everything protesters at the RNC in Cleveland.

“Somebody has to do it,” McPherson says, “No one from the GOP's going to do it. The delegates arren't going to stand here and contradict their hate speech.”

As she stood there, McPherson occasionally laughed as the protesters made inane, insulting and completely ridiculous comments about the evils of masturbating, being black, being gay, being muslim or pretty much anything other than a white male who spews asinine rhetoric. She almost seems like it doesn't bother her. Don't let that look fool you.

“I mean, how could it not bother me,” she says. “This is the worst kind of hate speech. You can't let that go unchecked.

“You just can't.”

5:24 p.m.

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:
  • Photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Sean P. Jackson

According to RNC delegate Sean P. Jackson, chairman of the Black Republican Caucus of Florida, the biggest problem facing American education is "a lack of funding." And how can the nation's lawmakers solve that problem?

"Put some more money for education in the budget," Jackson says.

His notion is far from traditional. Republicans aren't known to be advocates for increasing federal spending for much besides national security. And locally, former Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) spearheaded one of the largest cuts to education funding the state has ever seen.

But at an education event held earlier today, Jackson said education funding issues are hurting schools around the country. And he said it's not just about increasing funding, but also ensuring funds are being spent correctly at the local level.

"I don't think it's an unpopular idea among Republicans," Jackson says. "Allocation of funding at the local level has been prioritized in the wrong ways."

Today's event was hosted by the National School Board Action Center as part of their campaign to make public education a talking point in the presidential election. They'll also be hosting an event at the Democratic National Convention next week.

"We have not heard from our candidates about education at all," says JoDee Sundberg, NSBAC president. "I would like to hear what their plans are. Will they be advocates for the 50 million children around the country in public schools?"

5:00 p.m.:

4:54 p.m.:

4:52 p.m.:

3:55 p.m.:

3:00 p.m.

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to reporters about why Latino voters should embrace the Republican party.

2:50 p.m.:

2:09 p.m.:
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
From Ryan Deto
On Day 3 of the Republican National Convention, Cleveland Chief of Police Calvin Williams spent an afternoon walking around Public Square meeting and greeting protesters, demonstrators and bystanders. Public Square is a large park in Downtown Cleveland, just a few blocks from the Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the RNC.

“So far so good,” said Williams about policing during the convention. There have been some arrests, like at a flag burning near the convention site  on July 20 and Public Square saw a minor scuffle erupt when Alex Jones, of controversial conspiracy website, made an appearance, but largely, violence has been absent.

After three days, nothing controversial has happened involving police officers, and a deeper look into the policing strategies may reveal why. For one, there are thousands of police officers present all throughout Downtown Cleveland, from nearly 20 different units, some hailing from as far away as California. The convention site is also walled-off by more than two miles of 8-foot-high chainlink fence, cutting off access to a block of downtown about a square mile in area. There are even several small police boats patrolling the Cuyahoga River, which runs down in a small valley from the convention site.

And while the police presence and warzone-like aesthetic might be off-putting to some, police expert and University of Pittsburgh professor David Harris said that it is not that surprising, considering the ethos of law enforcement.

“The perceptive of law enforcement usually follows the ‘better-safe-than-sorry’ model,” said Harris. “But this is not always fair, if you come out to protest.”

Harris said that protesters may be drawing the short straw, considering the majority of their demonstrations are happening blocks from the convention entrance, blocks away from the delegates they’re trying to influence. Some protests have occurred right next to the entrance, but the largests ones have taken place at Public Square, where delegates and convention goers can easily circumvent.

“You want delegates to see the protests, and not effectively cut off the protests to the people who count the most,” said Harris.

A similar situation occurred in Pittsburgh in 2009 when the city hosted the G-20 Summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. All highway exits and bridges were blocked and a line of police officers blocked protesters in the Strip at around 31st Street. No international leaders saw the lass of protests.

The same is going on here. In fact, City Paper reported the basically silent protests going on at another Cleveland-designated “demonstration site,” more than two miles from convention. And all this after the ACLU of Ohio won a case against the RNC, after challenge their strict protest rules.

But when the protests have actually escalated to a somewhat tense level, the police have been there to effectively calm the action with a relatively new method: bikes. The Cleveland Police Department purchased hundreds of mountain bikes, thanks to a federal grant, and have had officers ride into action and form barriers with their bikes. The city received a $50 million federal grant for convention security. $20 million for new equipment and the rest for personnel.

Chief Williams says that the police department has been trained to use the bikes in this way and that the technique emerged about a year ago. Harris said he has not heard of police forces using bikes in this way before, but said bikes can be effective tools for officers since they are the fastest way to get around dense areas.

Bikes may also be a more calming force, since people are rarely intimidated by them, according to Harris. He says this is in contrast with mounted police on horseback. “A bicycle can’t kick you.”

Another new technique potentially calming the crowd is the use of hand-held video recorders. Even though police officers have body cameras, they sometimes are holding up camcorders to document the action. One Cleveland police officer told CP this is to get a different perspective than the body cameras.

Harris said hand-held video recorders, in addition to being regulated differently than body cameras, also offer a different perspective to the public too. “Being on video might chill your desire to practice your first amendment right.”

Harris also wonders if the constant visible presence is necessary. He said when the G-20 summit was in Pittsburgh, police officers also amassed large numbers and used similar techniques when policing Downtown Pittsburgh. He said the result was mostly a ghost town.

Harris thinks having officers at the ready, but in a not publicly visible staging area would be a more effective method

“You want to be ready for anything, but not necessarily present yourself [an omnipresent] way,” said Harris.

12:30 p.m.:
Photos from Day 3 at the RNC are up now, from photographer Aaron Petan. 
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

10:15 a.m.:

CP's multimedia editor Ashley Murray reports on the party atmosphere at the Republican National Convention. Bars inside the security perimeter are open all day but issue a last call each evening before the session begins. Is it so Republicans don't skip the speeches and stay outside to imbibe? Don't worry, the bars open again immediately after the session and serve into the wee hours. 

8:48 a.m.:
A Roundup of Day 3 happenings from around the web:
By Charlie Deitch

The big news from Day Three was of course Sen. Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump. Last night, I compared it to a mic drop. But I think this scene from the Original Bad News Bears movie is closer to what happened. In the film Joey the pitcher was slapped by his dad and he got revenge by letting the other team score. Cruz, if you remember, took quite the personal beating from Trump. In recent months Trump has called Cruz a liar and attacked both Cruz's wife and father. This was definitely Ted Cruz's "Throw the ball Joey" moment. I'll have some more thoughts on Cruz's speech later once I arrive in Cleveland for the last day of the convention.

Our Own Ryan Deto described the feeling in the room last night thusly:

"Members of the crowd were even shouting "Endorse Trump!" But, Cruz didn't give in to their demands. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust and are faithful to the [U.S.] Constitution," said Cruz, but did not say to vote for Trump. Cruz, ironically, mentioned Republican Party unity a few times in his speech."

Politico also gives a nice take on Cruz's defiant moment:

"Ted Cruz could have done more than anyone on Wednesday night to unite the divided Republican Party by uttering a few simple words: Vote for Donald Trump. Instead, he chose payback."

Finally, I'll leave you with this great piece by Theo Anderson at In these Times magazine from Chicago. He wanted to ask delegates what Trump's catch-phrase "Make America Great Again" really meant in terms of substance. His interview subjects didn't appreciate the question or apparently the inference that it meant well, nothing.

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Photo recap of Day 3 at the RNC

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 6:27 AM

Aaron Petan's photographs from Day 2 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan
  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

  • Photograph by Aaron Petan

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pittsburgh City Paper's Republican National Convention Live Blog: Day 3

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 10:57 PM

11:06 p.m.

10:50 p.m.

10:44 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
From Reporter Ryan Deto:

Texas U.S. Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz did not give an endorsement to Donald Trump.

Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the nomination at the start of his speech, but did not mention Trump during the rest of his 20 minute talk.

Members of the crowd were even shouting "Endorse Trump!" But, Cruz didn't give in to their demands. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust and are faithful to the [U.S.] Constitution," said Cruz, but did not say to vote for Trump.

Cruz, ironically, mentioned Republican Party unity a few times in his speech.

Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich attempted to cover up for Cruz.

"Ted Cruz said that voters should vote [for those] faithful to the Constitution, and the only nominee who will be faithful to the Constitution is Donald Trump." 

10:35 p.m.

Ted Cruz be like:


10:29 p.m.

10:15 p.m.

News Editor Rebecca Addison is passing the time outside the RNC in Cleveland with a little Pokemon GO.

10:11 p.m.

10:08 p.m.

9:40 p.m.

9:30 p.m.
From Ryan Deto:

The first speakers on night three of the Republican National Convention was a mix of fiery orators and inexperienced novices in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Laura Ingraham, a popular conservative radio host, took on a Trump-like demeanor and pandered to the crowd. The crowd roared when she insulted the media and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. "Hillary Clinton believes that there is a government solution to every problem. No Hillary, you are the problem," said Ingraham.

Ingraham even included a tangential joke and insulted men who wear skinny jeans and keep their hair in "man buns."

However, other than the energy expounded by Ingraham, many of the speakers did not give a boost to the thousands in attendance. Businessman and developer Phil Ruffin rambled on and praised Trump for "paying his bills on time."

Michelle van Etten, of Women in Business for Trump, which formed less than two months ago, appeared to not have much public-speaking experience. She struggled to look at the audience while reading the teleprompter. 

But a motive for many of these inexperienced speakers seemed evident. Three of the five speakers were from Florida, which could be a key swing state in the general election this November.

9 p.m.

8:03 p.m.

7:55 p.m.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, right in blue shirt, talks to a group of young Republicans Wednesday afternoon at the RNC in Cleveland - PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, right in blue shirt, talks to a group of young Republicans Wednesday afternoon at the RNC in Cleveland
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick says GOP will die if Hillary Clinton is elected
By Ryan Deto

At a meeting of members of the Young Republicans Caucus at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott, the message from established Republicans to youthful GOP members was clear: desperation. “If Hillary [Clinton] wins, you may never have another chance,” said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in terms of seeing the Republican Party survive.

Many on both sides of the aisle have made this claim since Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump won the nomination by using what his allies have called straight talk but most others have labeled as hate speech toward immigrants and Muslims and focused on what some would consider progressive trade policies. But Patrick believes the end of the Grand Ole Party will come because of voter fraud that would apparently occur if presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

“Voter fraud will be an institution,” said Patrick.

Patrick didn’t hide his skeptical feelings about the voting process either. He told a story of when he was running for office and how he made sure not to focus on increasing voter turnout. “I don’t want to increase voter turnout unless they vote for me,” said Patrick. (In the last primary elections, Texas had the second lowest voter turnout rates of any other state; around 80 percent of adult Texans did not vote.)

This confession came at the same time Patrick twas told by some of the young Republicans that many of them were looking for a candidate other than Trump. He responded to the group that voting for one side or another is “not about people, but about principles.”

But some of the younger speakers at the gathering said they were focused on getting more young people to join the Republican Party and convincing youth to get involved in government. In fact, one delegate from Arkansas talked about making the party more inclusive and creating participation across all demographics.

“We need to reach out to minority communities,” said Daren Waddles of University of Arkansas Little Rock Young Republicans. “We know there are those in the black community who share our values.”

7:00 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Rebecca Addison
Today was a lucky day for Oklahoma delegate John Roberts. He purchased the last pair of Reagan Bush cufflinks from the Freedom Marketplace at the RNC.

"I grew up in the Reagan Era. That's who I saw on TV and it was a very formative experience for me," Roberts says. "So there's a real sense of nostalgia attached to these."

You can't take two steps in the marketplace without tripping over Reagan merchandise. The former Republican president, who has been elevated to sainthood by many in his party, can be found on t-shirts, lapel pins, framed memorabilia and, of course, cufflinks.

"Reagan's usually the favorite," says Jonathan Toler who was running the All Pro Classics booth. "We obviously try to go with items that feature whoever the candidate is and other fan favorites."

But while traditional merchandise is popular at conventions, other vendors are keeping up with pop culture trends. At the Future Female Leaders booth, you can find a t-shirt with a picture of the founding fathers above the words "squad goals."

FFL is aimed at increasing female leadership in the Republican party. And with merchandise like elephant-print dresses and skirts, and a t-shirt that reads "girls just want to have guns," it's clear the group is putting a Republican spin on the fashions currently being marketed to young women via social media sites like Instagram.

"We're a social movement for young conservative women," says Victoria Feldmeier, a Pittsburgh-area native who was working at the FFL booth. "Our merchandise is a little sassy, definitely conservative. We promote being a conservative woman in a world where that's often viewed negatively."

4:50 p.m.
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison
From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

Less than an hour ago, a protest near the entrance to the RNC drew a swarm of police after opposing groups clashed when one tried to burn the American flag.

But down the street at an art installation at the 5th Street Arcades, the mood has been much calmer. Vote for The Good Life is a non-partisan art installation aimed at reducing tension between the opposing political factions involved in this month's conventions.

"We aim to emphasize the common ground between the two parties, which is that we all want the good life," says Sofia Seidel, an organizer. "We feel that dialog needs to come from a place of understanding our common ground."

And so far, organizers say it's been working.

The United Nations has identified health; education and skills; fair, honest, responsive government; protection; clean environment; food and water; freedom; jobs and income; social connections; exposure to arts and culture; and housing and transportation as quality of life indicators. Participants at the installation are asked to play a game or dialog around these "good life" indicators.

"We had this really avid Trump fan," Seidel says. "We asked him to do a dialog with one of our artists who is very blue, very Democrat. When [the Trump fan] left he said 'I think you guys tricked me; I feel like I made a friend.'"

4:46 p.m.: 

4:40 p.m.

  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Ashley Murray
From Multimedia Editor Ashley Murray:

Legal observers make sure police action lines up with protesters' First Amendment rights

As protesters bring their views to the streets, and police are charged with making sure they can assemble peacefully, there is another level of security protecting them — legal observers.

Throughout Cleveland this week for the Republican National Convention, several legal observing groups are watching to ensure that the law enforcement do not break First Amendment laws. Among them are the dozen Amnesty International team members in neon yellow shirts. City Paper ran alongside Amnesty International's Eric Fererro and asked questions as he and other observers watched police surround a spontaneous and tense crowd at 9th and Superior.

What are your observers watching for right now?

What our observers do is they monitor and make sure people are able to protest peacefully. So the're watching how police respond to the protest, where officers are, where equipment is being set up, we go to both the sanctioned events that people have permits for as well as spontaneous protests that we learn about through social media and other monitoring, and try to monitor as many of the protests and events that we can.

Has your team contested any police action in Cleveland this week?
So far what we've observed is by and large peaceful protests and by and large police acting appropriately to protect the right to protest peacefully, whatever you view may be. When we do see things that are questioning or concerning, the observers gather follow-up facts and information about it. So we have a couple of individual situations where we're still doing that. For example, a possible arrest [Monday] that we're still following up on to understand the circumstances around it.

At this point, he told me we had to run. Listen to the audio below of the Amnesty International legal observers running after protests in Cleveland. As we ran, Fererro continued explaining the situation.

You'll see what happens is we move quickly to get into situations and then we stay at a safe distance to observe. They take notes, they document, they do audio notes, they take pictures, they take video and then all of that gets recorded as part of the observations. Then they'll piece that together with other observer teams and so we'll stuff from different points of view.

You have 12 observers in Cleveland? Are they all here?
There's also other protests going on right now. Sometimes we'll have multiple teams at one protest, sometimes we'll have teams farmed out across different protests.

Have you contributed information about questionable police activity at protests in the past?
We had observers in Ferguson and Baltimore during some of the unrest there following police shootings. And then of course around the world. We've had observers in Egypt when the Arab Spring protests began for example.

What is an example of good police practice in protest situations?
You want police to have a presence so that they're protecting the safety of everyone. You don't want them to have an overbearing presence so that people's right to speak and their ability to come together and voice an opinion is chilled or more inhibited. For example we've seen police on bikes going back and forth around some of the public squares during the protests. That is a good practice, that they keep a presence up but it's not overwhelming or chilling. We saw earlier in the public square a bit ago police essentially form a line down the middle of the square so that these two kind of opposing groups of protesters could continue to protest, but it wouldn't escalate into violence. That kind of deescalates without dispersing a crowd. Allowing all that protest to happen, people with all kinds of views being able to co-exist, that's a good example

What is a bad example?
A bad example would be an order of dispersal too early. An order of dispersal when they could've maintained peaceful protest in other ways. And of course you get into how they order a dispersal. Do they give enough notice for people to leave after they order it? Do they use any kind of reagents like tear gas or that sort of thing? If so, that has got to be a last resort.

CP followed up with Ferrero this afternoon, and he says his observers are questioning the dispersal of the crowd once the protest moved to 9th and Lakeside avenues.

4:34 p.m. 
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Gabby Fellows
From Billy Ludt:
A Republican National Convention occupation is taking place at Goodrich-Kirtland Park, outside of Downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The space is located next to an airport, off of Interstate 90, opposite Lake Erie.

Around 40 occupiers have set up camp on the grounds, hailing from separate parts of the country. The trees and playground equipment in the park is adorned in proper fashion, most noticeable is a sign hanging from the park’s jungle gym, reading “Occupation of the RNC.”

“What we are doing here is not camping; we are occupying,” says occupier Coulter Loeb.

Representation from both pro and anti-trump and various religious ideologies are set up at the park, in light of the protesters’ and occupation’s low turnout.

“There wasn’t too much organization of people trying to come together,” says occupier Coulter Loeb.

Despite the conflicting ideologies and heated demonstrations taking place two miles away in downtown’s Public Square, conversations have been peaceful in the park. Loeb says occupiers stayed up until 3 a.m. today, discussing various views. Last night, a talent show was organized and held in the park, and occupiers put their personal talents on display.

Operations at Goodrich-Kirtland have not all been smooth.Cleveland designated Goodrich-Kirtland an open space for demonstrations, but Secret Service has prevented occupiers from having access easy access to electricity.

“I have been relying on other friends to find out what’s happening at the convention center,” says Loeb. Communication between Loeb and medical or legal consultation has been cut off as well due to the lack of electricity, running through two 10 amp batteries in the time he’s been in the park.

“People were kind of skeptical about even camping in the park,” says occupier Greg Clark.

The skepticism came from the police and armed Donald Trump supporters currently in Cleveland.
Clark said he and others made their way to Cleveland after attending the Rainbow Gathering in Vermont.

“This guy walked up a little bit ago, and he put it best by saying like, ‘Y’know, cops is like this:” and John, an occupier, who wished to withhold his last name, held his arm straight up, hand flat. “‘Now the reporters is like this:’” his hand now at eye level. “‘And the amount of people here that are actually protesting is actually like this:’” moving his hand to the ground.

Members of the RNC occupation plan to make their way to Philadelphia next week to protest the Democratic National Convention. Protesters are planning to converge and pool together supplies for the trip out, but a meeting place has yet to be determined.

3:38 p.m.:

3:20 p.m.:

2:30 p.m.:
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison

From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:

A handful of pro-choice advocates gathered in the free speech zone set up in Cleveland's public square this afternoon. There they shared personal stories about the importance of abortion and reproductive health access for women.

“We want to send a message to all the anti-choice advocates here,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “Whether it's defending Planned Parenthood or other reproductive-health services, women of color have had it harder and taken it on the chin like they always do. This is about a lot more than politics. For women across the country, one in five will need access to an abortion at some point in their lifetime.”

The free speech zone was set up by the City of Cleveland. Speakers signed up at city hall and are given 30 minutes to speak.

Unfortunately for the pro-choice women, another group entered the square soon after they began speaking. Spewing hateful statements about pro-choice advocates, the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBT community, the counter group quickly drew a larger crowd of spectators than the group in the free speech zone.

But a large portion of the people surrounding the counter group, were police officers, with a half dozen rows of police in front of and behind them.

“It's really funny. It's political protests combined with a circus,” says Marnie Halasa, who dressed as a butterfly with a sign saying “Let Democracy Fly.” “The anti-Trump and pro-Trump protesters are all talking to each other here and mostly being civil. So the huge police presence is unsettling. I understand it, in light of [the shootings] in Dallas and Baton Rouge, but I think it's overkill.”

2:00 p.m.:
  • Photograph by Rebecca Addison
From: News Editor Rebecca Addison:
Today is Zac Alberty's third day protesting at the convention. But unlike the anti-Trump contingent, Bible thumpers and "Hillary for Prison" people, Alberty's message is a little lighter.

Today in the public square, his neon green sign reads "Make Memes Great Again." Yesterday, his sign said "Shrek is Love. Shrek is Life."

"I'm just trying to make people laugh," says Alberty. "There are so many signs of hate out here."

As a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Alberty says he isn't affiliated with either side in the upcoming election. The Cleveland native says the convention has been good for his city and the restaurant where he works and he hopes there won't be any violent incidents.

"If we can handle the crowds we had down here for the [Cleveland Cavaliers] victory, we can handle this," Alberty says. "I just don't want anyone to get hurt."

1:58 p.m.:

1:39 p.m.:
Pro-life speakers in Public Square clash with uber conservative religious protests on opposite sides of the space.
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows

1:03 p.m.: 
Occupiers taking over a playground. 
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows
  • Photograph by Gabby Fellows

11:15 a.m.:

Our photographers and reporters were everywhere yesterday and we have a photo slideshow by Aaron Petan capturing everything from protesters to the Second Amendment in action.
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan
10:45 a.m.:
Here's a look back at what others are saying about Day 2 of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
  • Pittsburgh City Paper Photo by Aaron Petan

We covered a wide array of topics from the RNC yesterday on our live blog from tense moments out in Cleveland's Public Square to Donald Trump's historic Republican Presidential Nomination.

The team over at Politifact fact-checked the RNC's speakers including Chris Christie and Donald Trump Jr. While most of last night's statements proved "Mostly False" or worse, Christie was apparently completely truthful in his assessment of Clinton's Benghazi email scandal.

Clearly one of the most entertaining speeches Tuesday night came from Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate turned Trump supporter. I'm not really sure what he was saying, but I think it has to do with Hillary Clinton being best pals with Beelzebub. Huffington Post has more on that

Finally, there was a lot of talk yesterday about Melania Trump's alleged plagiarism of a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama. But the "My Little Pony Defense" is just awesome. 

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