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by Ann Clanton, “Speak Up” Contributing Writer
A planned Trump campaign rally encountered a Black Lives Matter protest at the RI State House on a beautiful Saturday morning. Approximately 200 people in total were estimated to be there, along with a good contingent of both Providence Police and Rhode Island State Police.
Several people spoke from the Trump for President rally, as cars and trucks circled in a caravan of support. Campaign swag was being sold and distributed. US and thin blue line flags in support of police were well displayed.
The Black Lives Matter protest included signs having to do with the issue of illegal immigrants. Several protesters carried cardboard “shields” and black umbrellas, designed to keep people from being photographed and identified. Some were on bicycles.
It did get a little scary as people got up in each other’s faces, and you could hear remarks escalating. But the heavy presence of the police was noticeable by all. Police wore helmets, face shields, had wooden batons, and carried supplies of zip tie hand restraints, if needed. No arrests were seen when this reporter left.
Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.
Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.
Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.