Living in NE Ohio, I had to the visit the RNC. I spent two hours yesterday in downtown Cleveland. I took a lot of photos but I was still surprised when I got home and discovered that I’d taken 1300 photos! I’m always taking photos for use in my paintings, of course, and I was determined to take full advantage of this a once in a lifetime opportunity. I doubt that I will travel to a future political convention, and the chances of another coming to Cleveland is remote.
The area around the convention was a madhouse–thousands of bodies moving. I soon had my camera out and was snapping furiously. The opportunities were endless. Even the blistering sun didn’t bother me.
I went along 4th St. several times. Many of the media studios were set up there. The media was everywhere. I watched Andrea Mitchell interview someone and read from her teleprompter for a short time. Everywhere people and media types were recording or photographing.
Another strong impression was the number of police one saw. I’ve never seen so many. Police from 14 states were in Cleveland to help the local cops. Between the police, the DHS agents, and Secret Service agents the 6-block area around the convention center was blanketed.
There were plenty of protestors of every stripe. This man denounced the police (which he invariably called the ‘neo-Nazi Police), Republicans, Democrats, the Catholic Church, and sundry others. Having said that, I was surprised by the gentility of the affair. I saw no signs of violence or other unpleasantness. I don’t know what I was expecting and was pleasantly surprised by how calm things were.
I’m so glad I went. I have a treasure trove of photos. I’ve only gone through 100 or so but I’m excited with the results so far.