By Jesse Byrnes
July 20, 2016
Dozens of people protesting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump blocked off a large portion of the main entrance to the Republican National Convention around noon on Wednesday.
The group of protesters, which swelled to approximately 100 people, held tan sheets portraying a border wall and called to "wall off Trump."
Hispanic activists started at Public Square in Cleveland and marched a couple of blocks southeast to the intersection of Prospect Avenue East and East Fourth Street.
Other protest groups joined the march, holding portions of the fake wall to extend it several hundred yards in front of the main Quicken Loans Arena entrance.
"We're showing our support with them because the violent rhetoric Donald Trump is putting out there, we want to combat it," said Ben Schrader of Colorado, who is with the group Vets vs. Hate and joined the protest.
"We protected our communities; we fought off the hatred; and we're going to do it in our own communities now," Tania Unzueta, an organizer, told the demonstrators.
She said after the protest that she was happy with the response from police, who allowed the protesters to peacefully stand in front of the arena entrance. Police officers stood shoulder to shoulder to create a makeshift tunnel to allow those with credentials to enter the convention complex.
Unzueta said the effort was meant to symbolize the walling off of Trump's of "hatred."
Carlos Gonzalez, from Georgia, was among half a dozen protesters who held the banner before the march started down a street that was already mostly blocked off to traffic for the convention. He said he didn't agree with Trump's proposals on illegal immigration.
"I believe in Shariah law and I'm a Muslim, I'm a Latino, and I'm here to support both of my communities that are being marginalized and attacked by Donald Trump and specific, racist constituents with the GOP," said Ramon Mejia of Dallas, a member of Iraq Veterans Against War.
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