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Protesters gather outside White House ahead of Trump speech

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in front of the White House Thursday ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech, shouting with anger and demanding his resignation.

Demonstrators rally to protest US President Donald Trump’s acceptance of the Republican National Convention nomination at Black Lives Matter plaza accross from the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

“We need to get Trump out, we need to destroy the whole system. We need a revolution,” said Keheirra Wedderburn, 18, above the sound of banging drums and chants of “Trump/Pence out now!”

“These presidents are not gonna do anything ’cause they are not the people of color in the streets being shot,” the black student from Houston, Texas told AFP.

“There are more people who are ready for Trump to leave office,” said Washington native Michael Legend, a 33-year-old black man.

Just a few yards (meters) away, shielded by large metal fences, the billionaire Republican was gearing up to accept his party’s presidential nomination for reelection with a speech on the South Lawn of the White House. 

“We don’t want to see Donald Trump accept the nomination. The goal is to drown it out,” said Miriam Oppenheimer, who came from Philadelphia for the demonstration.

On the other side of the White House, Trump supporters had gathered on the National Mall, a sprawling green bordered with museums and monuments to US leaders.

“We think that Trump is encouraging his people to be violent, and we are encouraging people to be peaceful,” said Oppenheimer, 53, carrying a sign that read, “Cops are tools of fascism.”

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, sparked in May by the police killing of black man George Floyd in Minnesota, had begun to subside in recent weeks.

But the flood was unleashed once more when a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin fired seven bullets point blank into the back of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man, as he attempted to get into a car with his children inside.

Blake survived the shooting but is likely to remain paralyzed from the waist down, according to his family’s lawyer.

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