The Latest: Carnival atmosphere on Cleveland’s Public Square

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on demonstrations and gatherings outside the Republican National Convention (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Afternoon crowds are a little thinner in Cleveland’s Public Square as protests continue during the Republican National Convention.

Pockets of people spread around the square promoting various causes Wednesday contributed to a carnival-like atmosphere.

One group draped banners along the ground with photos of people killed by those entering the country illegally.

Nearby, a group assembled a mosaic of white on black cards with words and phrases meant to underscore unity and tolerance.

Two women kissed in front of a group saying gay people were going to hell.

Warm temperatures in the low 80s may be playing a role in keeping people away.

Overhead shots from the Cleveland police helicopter broadcast over Periscope showed sparse crowds.


11:45 a.m.

A small group protesting Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico is making its own wall in downtown Cleveland.

Two dozen protesters wearing canvas sheets formed a wall Wednesday in Cleveland’s Public Square, which is a few blocks from where the Republican National Convention is being held.

Others held a banner saying, “Wall Off Trump.”

There were no signs of trouble. On Tuesday, skirmishes broke out among demonstrators.


11:30 a.m.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams says that he’s “still a police officer” when asked why he waded into a confrontation involving a right-wing radio talk show personality who showed up Tuesday afternoon with a bullhorn at the city’s Public Square hoping to speak.

Williams ended the melee by grabbing Alex Jones by the arm and hustling him away from the square. A short time later, Williams confronted a group of what he called “hooligans” who marched onto the square dressed as anarchists and gave them an “ultimatum” to get off the streets.

The 52-year-old Williams said at a Wednesday morning news briefing that he spent three hours Tuesday evening riding with bicycle officers as they patrolled downtown.

Williams says he plans to show up wherever there are “issues” in Cleveland during the convention.


10:40 a.m.

Health officials say no additional people have shown norovirus symptoms after members of the support team for the California delegation to the Republican National Convention got sick.

The health commissioner for Ohio’s Erie County said Wednesday that the 11 people who fell ill are recovering and taking precautions not to spread norovirus, or what’s commonly known as stomach flu. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The symptoms were first reported July 14 as logistics members arrived at a hotel about an hour west of Cleveland.

Health officials are still trying to identify the source. Norovirus can be contracted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces.

The health commissioner says officials are working to prevent any sick people from getting on planes.


12:20 a.m.

A threatened flag burning and a wall-building stunt mocking Donald Trump’s Mexican border plan have potential to fuel already bubbling tensions outside the Republican National Convention.

Anti-government and anti-racism protesters are set to burn an American flag Wednesday at an undisclosed location.

A Latino social justice organization is holding an exercise on the city’s Public Square to “wall off” what they see as Trump’s hateful rhetoric.

Other protests are also planned.

Several protests Tuesday erupted into skirmishes and marchers tried to push their way into blocked off downtown streets.

Officers used bicycles to wall-off intersections and for the first time during the convention ordered demonstrators to disperse under the threat of arrest.