CLEVELAND—Chanting "Undocumented! Unafraid!", immigrant rights protesters got their big moment in Cleveland on Wednesday when they formed a human border wall near the site of the Republican National Convention.
The activists gathered at a downtown public square before splitting into groups that took over different streets. Cleveland police and state troopers stood nearby during the peaceful demonstration.
Some of the demonstrators acted as human walls by wearing canvas painted in a brick pattern. Other protesters held canvases that were 25 feet long.
“We’re creating a line of defense against Trump’s hate and racism,” said Eva Cardenas, one of the organizers of the protest.
Cardenas, 28, said she traveled from Atlanta and that she was part of a group called Ruckus Society, a group that provides protest training to community members.
“As communities, we’re going to continue to organize and build imaginary walls around toxic figures like Trump,” said Cardenas, 28, who traveled from Atlanta to organize the protest.
Volunteers this week have been painting bricks and barbed wire on the canvases.
Immigrant rights groups from neighboring states organized caravans the brought activists and undocumented immigrants to help create the wall.
Cardenas said the protest was organized by the Ruckus Society and MiJente, a Latinx immigrant rights group. Several groups joined them on Wednesday, including Iraq Veterans Against the War.
An online fundraiser launched by MiJente raised $16,000 that was used to pay for the materials used in the protest. The crowdfunded fundraiser received more that 650 donations.