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Intrepid Undergraduate Ilayda Orankoy Blogs about the GOP Convention

With support from the MID, ten undergraduate students are attending the RNC Convention (under the able tutelage of Political Science chair Lee Ann Banaszak and doctoral student Kevin Reuning) to interview protesters. One of the students, Ilayda Orankoy reflected on the experience in this post. Good stuff!

Jul 20, 2016

Intrepid Undergraduate Ilayda Orankoy Blogs about the GOP Convention

The students and their leaders ready for interviewing!

If it’s one thing that’s consistent among protests and demonstrations, it’s that they’re all relatively unpredictable. One can spend all day criss-crossing Cleveland to track protests and still turn up empty-handed--a point that became increasingly clear as a journalist stopped us to ask us where all the ‘good’ protests were.

Case and point: on Monday, we trekked all the way from Tower City Center to the West Side Market (a literal uphill journey) to intercept what was supposed to be an Iraq War Veterans for Peace march. As we crowded under a scraggly curbside tree to rest and hydrate, everything seemed to be going according to plan: the road was blocked off for the march, and the attending police officers all confirmed that they hadn’t seen any protesters go by just yet.

As we waited, however, it soon became obvious that we had either missed them completely or that they had never come by in the first place. While we never actually found out whether it was the former or the latter, we did learn (through some Instagram sleuthing) that the march wasn’t nearly as large as we anticipated it to be.

In the meantime, though, we did get to witness the self-proclaimed “RNC Interactive Band,” which was essentially just a series of homemade carts covered front-to-back with various surfaces to drum on. The band parked itself on an island in the middle of the road, and its wig-wearing members eagerly shouted at passersby to join them in making music (some of whom happily agreed). Their platform was, reportedly, that they were “anti-Trump, but pro-Trump’s hair”--hence the blond wigs.

The band was, ultimately, another testament to just how unpredictable protests can be; that is to say, sometimes the smallest demonstrations can make the most noise.

 

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