Tags: Donald Trump | Republican National Convention 2016 | Protestors | RNC | Anti-Trump | Message | Social Media

Protesters at RNC Turn to Social Media to Spread Anti-Trump Message

Image: Protesters at RNC Turn to Social Media to Spread Anti-Trump Message
An anti-Trump protestor Republican National Convention, Cleveland, USA - 18 Jul 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 10:20 AM

Protesters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are turning to new technology and social media to spread their chanted message: "Racist. Sexist. Anti-gay. Donald Trump go away."

CNET spoke with Tom Burke, a longtime activist, who led the protest, keeping everyone on the city-approved route with a megaphone in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

"Make sure you get everything," Burke called to his assistant, Austin Jensen, who live streamed the march to Facebook. "We've got the whole world watching us."

Protesters avoided antagonizing the police, although a few minor infractions like climbing over concrete barriers and riding bikes amongst the crowd or on the sidewalk, went unopposed by officers. Burke made a point of stopping to converse with the police, while still texting and answering phone calls.

"I know they can hear us," Mick Kelly, co-organizer of the Coalition to Stop Trump, told CNET while the marchers paused on 9th Street.

Burke organized protests outside the GOP convention back in 2012 and 2008, but hadn't fully embraced social media until this year. Monday morning, he took to Facebook to communicate with protesters, reminding them where to meet in Cleveland, which he repeated on Twitter and through a mass email.

CNET reported last week that over a dozen companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola, opted to skip the convention after online activists protested their involvement. ColorOfChange and Credo Action used social media, online petitions and phone calls to reach out to more than 30 companies.

"Any sponsorship of a Trump-led convention will be an endorsement of his hate-filled and racist rhetoric and runs counter to the values of your company," ColorOfChange wrote, sending to the corporations an open letter that the group posted on its website.

"We stand for justice, equality, and peace," Burke said in a mass email. The "vast majority of people reject [Trump's] gospel of greed," he continued.

Burke drove 600 miles round-trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Cleveland to plan the march, meeting with city leaders and getting the proper permits that would allow for greater visibility of the protest.

At one point, when the city seemed uncooperative, Burke and the group took to Twitter and email to spread their message until the city made a deal.

"The Republicans saw us and heard us," Burke said. "We will take that spirit back home with us."

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Politics
Protesters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland are turning to new technology and social media to spread their chanted message: "Racist. Sexist. Anti-gay. Donald Trump go away."
Protestors, RNC, Anti-Trump, Message, Social Media
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2016-20-19
Tuesday, 19 Jul 2016 10:20 AM
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