Once protesters standing outside of the Quicken Loans Arena during the Republican National Convention (RNC) began burning the American flag on Wednesday, a group of bikers decided to step in and defend Old Glory.
The Boston Herald reports that members from “Bikers for Trump,” a group formed to “promote and coordinate peaceful Bikers for Trump™ rallies and events nationwide,” confronted a group of protesters outside of the RNC convention who were in the process of burning the American flag. The bikers showed up with their own fire extinguishers and began putting out the flames alongside Cleveland firefighters, who were already on hand after hearing rumors that a flag burning would take place at some point during the convention.
Bikers for Trump rode into Cleveland on Monday to help protect Trump and keep the protesters in order. A spokesperson for the group indicated that they are not looking for any fights but will be a first line of defense for protesters who fail to obey the laws.
Founder Chris Cox began showing up to a number of Trump rallies to help protect citizens and keep the peace, after a series of violent incidents occurred. Since then, masses of bikers joined Cox, with the same goal in mind.
“Every day, patriots are coming on board, and people who want to stand up to the leftist, racist, murderers that are killing cops.”
The New York Times reports that Trump himself acknowledged the bikers after seeing them show up on several different occasions throughout the course of the year. He praised them over Memorial Day weekend while speaking to a crowd of supporters at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in D.C.
“I said, ‘What are they all doing here?’ And my people would say, ‘They’re here to protect you, Mr. Trump.’ It’s an amazing thing.”
Bikers from all over the nation continue to join in and appear at every RNC convention with the mission to “ensure the safety of others.” Biker Mark Sipos stated that he’s particularly concerned about seeing women being yelled at and assaulted.
“If I see a woman getting getting assaulted, spit on, eggs thrown at, shouted at, cursed at, I will not allow that in my presence.”
During the latest event in Cleveland, Cox camped early, around 30 miles from of the RNC gathering, where he and fellow bikers waited to hear if the rumors of the Black Panther Party bringing shotguns to the rally were true.
“If they break through, there are gonna be a lot of German Shepherds that chase them down.”
No gunshots were fired at the Cleveland RNC rally, but the flag-burning incident resulted in 18 arrests. One of the protesters allegedly assaulted a police officer who tried to help him after he caught his leg on fire while trying to burn the flag. A video depicted the officer saying,
“You’re on fire! You’re on fire, stupid.”
When the officer tried to help, the protester allegedly started to swinging at him to keep him away. Other officers were reportedly pushed and punched by protesters. The Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild criticized the way police handled the protesters, stating that they’re “highly concerned about these arrests and the escalation of police tactics against peaceful demonstrators.”
Meanwhile, Cox reiterated that they are patriots, but they are not vigilantes and they do not carry weapons. Yet, the cross-country group is prepared to step in “just in case,” and on a moment’s notice, with their fire extinguishers in hand to stop anyone who tries to burn the American flag.
“We’re here first and foremost as patriots, and um, a patriot doesn’t doesn’t recognize a donkey or an elephant….We are an extra set of eyes for the police. We realize that it’s unlikely that the police would call on civilians for help, but by the same token, if we see a police officer being overwhelmed and overpowered, we certainly will step in.”
To learn more about Bikers for Trump, including rally updates and general information, visit their official website.
[Photo by AP/John Minchillo]