Protesters gather in Lafayette Square ahead of Trump convention speech

Protesters descended on Lafayette Square outside of the White House on Thursday ahead of President Trump’s speech formally accepting the GOP’s 2020 nomination.

Video captured and posted to Twitter by media reporters and bystanders showed police blocking off demonstrators in the square outside of the White House as large swaths of people appeared to gather there. 

Demonstrators in the footage and images appear with their fists in the air, holding signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraging people to vote the president out of office. 

The demonstration comes amid a period of civil unrest after the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot in the back seven times by police while trying to get into his car in Kenosha, Wis. Blake is currently paralyzed from the waist down. 

For several nights following the incident, protests have erupted in Wisconsin, most of which have been peaceful. On some occasions, the demonstrations have descended into clashes with law enforcement. 

Trump’s speech Thursday will close out the Republican National Convention and take place on the South Lawn of the White House, a historically unorthodox venue to host an event of this kind. 

Before Trump’s speech, hundreds of the president’s supporters gathered inside the gates of the South Lawn without masks, flouting COVID-19 guidelines. 

The president is anticipated to criticize Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and tout his administration’s accomplishments, building on recent nights’ programming.

The Republican National Convention this week has focused on praising Trump’s tenure in office, including his response to the coronavirus and using remarks from women and people of color to cast him as personable heading into Election Day.

The president’s use of the White House as a setting for the convention events has drawn rebukes from Democrats who claim that Trump is blurring longstanding lines between governing and campaigning.

Tags 2020 Republican National Convention Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden Lafayette Square

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