There are few things more magnetic for protesters than a political convention.
And as the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., draws near, ResistRNC, a planned five-day protest, is seeking to rev up its supporters. ResistRNC says it is not affiliated with any political party, but rather is protesting the "pursuit of wealth" and "exploitation and oppression." The group also said it supports planned protests at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Soon after ResistRNC's website launched, however, it was criticized for videos that appeared on the its "Action" page. including one that showed a man throwing a Molotov cocktail at police, and another displaying fireworks and burning torches being thrown onto an athletic track.
Conservative site Red Alert Politics called the videos "chilling."
The videos fed fears stirred by an Associated Press report in April that noted the thousands of protesters expected to attend both conventions could come armed, as state law in Florida and North Carolina allows people to carry concealed weapons. The federal government has given $50 million to both Tampa and Charlotte to ramp up security for the conventions.
The violent videos no longer exist on the ResistRNC website, which insists the group always had a "message of non-violence."
The group's planned protest events include an anti-war rally, economic rights day, human rights-focused protest, and a "roving radical dance party."
"Our dreams don't fit in ballot boxes," ResistRNC writes on its site. "The entire system in which we're currently living is rooted in greed and power... Another world is possible."