A crowd gathered at the White House to watch Donald Trump accept the Republican nomination for a second term. Despite tradition and regulation to not use the White House for purely political events, a massive stage was set up on the South Lawn. (Aug. 27)


AP Domestic

Raucous protesters chanted and banged drums near the White House as more than a thousand guests of the president were gathered inside in advance of President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech. 

An area outside had also become a dance party featuring EDM remixes of MoTown music.

The noise – along with occasional police sirens – could be heard faintly from within the White House grounds. Another area had turned into a raucus dance party.

“Black women matter, because we get stuff done!” some yelled.

Shortly before 10:30, while Ivanka Trump was in the middle of her speech to introduce her father, protesters began using bullhorns, whistles and bells while chanting “Black Lives Matter” just outside the White House.


Hundreds of demonstrators gathered around the White House on Thursday night for a “noise demonstration and dance party” in an attempt to drown out President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination. (Aug. 28)

AP Domestic

Minutes later, protesters beyond the gates began setting off firecrackers at the start of Trump’s speech. They also amped up the horn-blowing and the chants – all audible from the South Lawn of the White House – but none of it seemed to distract Trump or his supporters, who chanted  “USA!” and “Four More Years!”

About 10 minutes into his speech, though, the horns, sounding similar to the vuvuzela that dominated the background of the 2010 World Cup, grew louder and was audible on televised broadcasts of the speech.

Outside the gates, crowds chanted “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace!”

The crowds were gathered between the White House and National Mall and in Black Lives Matter Plaza, the epicenter of the protests earlier this year over racial injustice amid the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of law enforcement.

At least two groups planned protests on city property near the White House Thursday night. Refuse Fascism is holding a #TrumpPenceOutNOW rally down the street in Black Lives Matter Plaza – renamed amid the protests earlier this summer. The Party Majority PAC, which was founded by former Clinton aides, is organizing a #ThePeoplesHouse demonstration nearby. 

Fencing and barriers around the White House have been bolstered ahead of Thursday night’s events in anticipation of the protests. Demonstrations outside the White House  following Floyd’s death led to some vandalism and violent confrontations with security forces, notably after authorities cleared Lafayette Square of peaceful protesters for Trump’s walk to nearby St. John’s Church for a photo op.

Refuse Fascism co-founder Carl Dix said his organization – which began planning the demonstration after Trump decided his acceptance speech would be delivered at the White House – initially only expected a few dozen participants but that interest had swelled after Jacob Blake was shot multiple times in the back this week by police. 

Dix said he initially expected only a small crowd, but convention speakers denounced demonstrations and a Missouri couple, who became famous for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, among its speakers, he thought  

“That’s why I expect that there will be an even larger crowd of people in D.C.,” Dix told USA TODAY.

The streets outside the White House were crowded.

The handmade sign held aloft by one man read “My Melanin is not a threat.”

The sign of another protester declared: “Defund the police is a strategy. Abolish the police is the goal.”

Republicans have repeatedly accused Joe Biden of wanting to defund the police. Biden has said he does not support that and has called for a $300 million increase in police funding to address concerns about racial profiling.

Contributing: Rebecca Morin, William Cummings


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