CLEVELAND — The first day of the GOP convention in Cleveland was filled with rallies of support as well as protests against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Along the shores of Lake Erie, a pro-Trump rally attracted a wide range of voters on Monday.
Chris Cox, the founder of the nationwide Bikers for Trump coalition, marched into the rally with an "Old Glory" flag hanging on a pole that was slung over his shoulder.
"We embrace the freedom of speech. Not only ours, but our opponents. We would lie for them to give us some credit. We want to get our point across. They have to get their point across," Cox said.
Meanwhile, it wasn't what was hanging on Sam Kurek's shoulder that drew attention; it was what was strapped to his thigh — his legal glock handgun.
"It's primarily to protect myself," Kurek said.
Kurek, a 25-year-old pipe fitter from Pennsylvania, was just one of a handful of Trump supporters carrying in the open, which is allowed by law. It's a practice that many, including police unions, criticized over the past few days.
"I'm not doing it to rub it anybody's face or to stir up a bees nest or anything like that. It's just one of our constitutional rights and I do it all the time," Kurek said as he surveyed the rally from a top of a knoll.
Meanwhile six blocks away at Memorial Plaza, anti-Trump supporters came together to rally against the GOP nominee. The protest was one that turned into a vocal demonstration that played out on the streets of downtown Cleveland.
As demonstrators marched, Cleveland police and other members of law enforcement had strength in numbers along the route. There is no doubt that as voices were heard, there was still a silent concern of safety on the minds of many people.
"I'm worried about people coming out and really showing what they are thinking," one woman said while she marched with a group of anti-Trump protesters.