News reports have shown Cleveland's public square becoming the democratic space for all forms of protest and ideology gathered for the Republican National Convention.
It has also been used for manipulation of the media and police.
On Tuesday afternoon as group called the Revolutionary Communists demonstrated, they became the target of extreme right-wing radio host Alex Jones and his InfoWars group. Jones and his supporters barged into the communists' midst, apparently to provoke a confrontation by dog-whistling anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric against "globalists," Black Lives Matter, and George Soros.
Participants on all sides, whether demonstrators, media or police were overwhelmingly male.
Jones, surrounded by his group, is pictured below with his megaphone.
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The media, sensing an impending skirmish, flocked to Jones. By now it was mid-afternoon on a hot day and groups became increasingly agitated by Jones' rhetoric. As two young men approached Jones chanting "Nazi scum," he threw his shoulder into one of them, and a scuffle broke out.
The altercation can be viewed via YouTube video recorded by Jones' group below, beginning at about 8:55. The video has now been viewed by over 120,000.
As a few officers entered the fray, one was pulled aggressively, though unclear by whom. Within moments the whole square was surrounded by mobilized police as they divided the crowd first into halves, and then into quarters.
Police establish an artery through which to send out officers into the crowd.
The policing strategy was to splinter the crowd and assemble a main artery from which they can jettison officers into smaller crowds. They do this by speeding bikes into an opening. The above image depicts a biker about to rush into the crowd. The police then use the bikes as barricades.
A line of officers marches into the square.
Many officers filmed the operation, a common sight at all the group altercations throughout the convention.
Jones and his core group were escorted from the scene and the crowd broken up.
In the aftermath, Dr. Cornel West entered the public square and delivered an address extolling peace and non-violence, following which the demonstrators marched away from the square.