Protesters took to the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday for a third straight night of demonstrations that prompted police to use pepper spray and arrest four people ahead of the Republican National Convention, which kicks off Monday, according to a report.
More than 100 people split up into groups of about 15 after gathering in Marshall Park late Sunday, the Charlotte Observer reported.
They then marched uptown and chanted “No RNC in CLT!” and “F— Donald Trump!” as they gathered near the Westin Charlotte Hotel, where delegates are staying, according to the news outlet.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to be in Charlotte for the RNC’s first night Monday when the delegates assemble in the Charlotte Convention Center to officially nominate them for the 2020 GOP ticket.
The protesters later marched back to South Tryon Street until they reached cops on bikes and chanted “Black Lives Matter!”
When one protester yelled that the officers were holding pepper spray, the group turned around, as some chanted “F— the police!”
At Trade Street, a protester banged on the hood of a pickup truck trying to pass through the crowd, which surrounded the vehicle before police forced them back, the Observer reported.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that when cops intervened, they were “assaulted” by demonstrators.
About 60 protesters stood in front of a line of officers, with those in front forming a line of umbrellas.
Dedan Waciuri, one of the demonstrators, said he tried to help a woman who had been knocked over by the bikes.
“I went to pick her up and I was hit by a handlebar,” he told the outlet.
Officers later used pepper spray on several people.
“They just Maced everybody,” Jamel Elder, 27, said. “I put my head down but it was too late, it was already in my mouth and eyes.”
Police said the protesters would not clear the intersection so they deployed pepper spray and made two arrests.
Meanwhile, a group called Unemployed Action displayed projections on the side of the Hilton Garden Inn, showing people who have lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Alejandro Guerrero, an organizer with the Center for Popular Democracy, parent group of Unemployed Action, said the group is seeking to raise awareness to what it deems to be a failure of Republicans to address the impacts of the outbreak.
He cited stalled negotiations over the next relief package while a federal unemployment subsidy of $600 a week has expired.
“Your inactions have basically left millions of Americans suffering and basically living in anxiety for what the next couple of weeks, couple of months are going to look like,” Guerrero told the Observer.
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