RNC: Protests erupt outside White House as Trump prepares to speak

Demonstrators gather before the president is expected to accept the Republican Party’s nomination

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 28 August 2020 03:08 BST
Protesters rally against Trump ahead of RNC speech

Massive protests have erupted outside of the White House just as President Donald Trump was set to deliver the final speech of the Republican National Convention.

The demonstrators gathered before the president was expected to accept the Republican Party’s nomination, with protests taking over the Black Lives Matter Plaza near Pennsylvania Avenue.

Protests near the White House were peaceful on Thursday night, as more than a thousand audience members sat outside — many of them disregarding social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks — to watch Mr Trump deliver the headlining speech.

Mr Trump was scheduled to appear at the final night of the week-long RNC — as he has done every night of the convention — amid a wave of national protests against police brutality and systemic racism sparked by the police-shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white police officer on Sunday.

Some demonstrators were seen holding Black Lives Matter signage and posters near the White House, while others aimed their messaging against the president and his re-election bid.

The president was expected to sell himself during the speech as an insurgent despite running as the White House incumbent, while claiming he was the “law and order” candidate despite continued protests against police brutality across the country.

"We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years," Mr Trump was reportedly expected to say during his speech.

A reported transcript of the speech continued: “At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas."

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination during last week’s convention, slammed Mr Trump for what he said was “incompetence” and an inability to resolve several crises, from the coronavirus pandemic to continued protests and racial tensions.

In an interview with MSNBC, the former vice president said: “The problem we have right now is that we are in Donald Trump’s America.”

"He views this as a political benefit to him, he is rooting for more violence not less,” He added: “He is pouring gasoline on the fire."

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