Watch CBS News

Protesters, Supporters Gather Ahead Of VP Mike Pence's RNC Speech At Fort McHenry

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Protesters held a car caravan in south Baltimore Wednesday evening ahead of Vice President Mike Pence's Republican National Convention speech at Fort McHenry.

The protest, organized by the People's Power Assembly, snaked through streets near Fort McHenry.

Demonstrators held signs reading Black Lives Matter and decrying recent cuts to the U.S. Postal Service.

One of the event's organizers said Baltimore hasn't forgotten about President Donald Trump's comments last year during a Twitter feud with the late Rep. Elijah Cummings during which he called Baltimore "a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess."

"Our strongest message is really to Pence, who also represents the president, for both of them to get out of Baltimore, that we feel they have created this kind of atmosphere of racism and hatred that's not necessary and not welcome to come here," organizer Sharon Black said.


Black referenced the president's harsh criticism of Baltimore last year, calling the city "a rat and rodent infested mess."

"We feel that they have created an atmosphere in this country of racism and hatred," she said.

A number of Trump supporters also gathered outside Fort McHenry, including Ray Hinkle, who wrote a song on the president's behalf and hopes to share it Wednesday night.

One man said he wrote a song on behalf of President Trump.

"The song says I used to be a Democrat, and that was a long dark time, and now I'm a Republican, I wake up with a great big grin because Trump put his life on hold to help America," said Ray Hinkle.

The vice president's choice of Fort McHenry to make his RNC speech drew criticism. Some said it's inappropriate to use a federal facility for political gain.

"I think it's pretty crass to have it be used for a political purpose, for one particular party, which is not representative of the entire nation," said protester Andrew Farrell.

A handful of people watched Pence's speech on their phones from outside,  and other groups stuck around to hold up signs in protest for the duration of his time in Baltimore.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.