David Levi Strauss / Dispatch / Pre Convention

Dispatch 2: New Shootings

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AN hour and a half into our ten-hour drive from the Hudson Valley to Cleveland, Mick Taussig called with news that three police officers had just been gunned down in Baton Rouge. He was worried that this might affect proceedings in Cleveland, and that it felt like everything could break down into open warfare.

As we drove, facts about the shootings came slowly to light. Eventually, it was revealed that the shooter was a Marine veteran of the Iraq War who had been in Dallas three weeks ago, and had posted a video on YouTube proclaiming that protesting was not enough, and that eventually, “we have to fight back.”

When we arrived in Cleveland, the local nightly news reported that it was “a pretty quiet night in Downtown Cleveland,” with few protests so far. The loudest sounds came from an invitation-only RNC welcome event at North Coast Harbor dubbed “Rock the RNC in CLE,” where 12,000 VIPs enjoyed a Three Dog Night reunion and guests had access to “the world’s only Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” A fireworks show ended the evening.

During the nightly news, the “Do Your Part—Stop Hillary” ad that the National Rifle Association made in support of Donald Trump aired. In response to the new shootings in Louisiana, the head of one of the largest police unions in Cleveland asked Ohio Governor John Kasich to suspend Ohio’s open carry laws for the four days of the convention, but the Governor, who has made it clear he will not attend the convention, refused.

The schedule for the convention has finally been released by the Trump people. The theme for the first day of the convention is “Make America Safe Again,” and featured speakers include Melania Trump, Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, and Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson.

The last headline I saw tonight was “2 People Shot at Stop the Violence Party in Euclid.”

David Levi Strauss
Sunday, July 17, 2016. 23:55 EDT

[Photograph by Jon Winet: “Cuba, New York. July 17, 2016.” Click on image to see an enlargement.]

LINK to all David Levi Strauss Power 2016 Dispatches

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