New Black Panther Party Plan to Carry Firearms Into Cleveland Ahead of the Convention

What could go wrong?

On the one side, you’ll have neo-Nazi skinheads and bikers working “security” for Donald Trump at next week’s GOP convention. On the other side, the New Black Panther Party, and their plan is to carry guns and “exercise their 2nd Amendment rights” for protection, if it is allowed under Ohio’s state gun laws.

“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our second amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” Hashim Nzinga, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, told Reuters in an interview.

“If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms.”

Nzinga condemned the Dallas shootings as a “massacre” and said his group played no role in the attack.

Officials in Ohio have said that carrying guns outside of the convention will be allowed.

If past Trump-led events are any indication, it could spell bad news for many, but Nzinga insists their intent is peaceful and the plan is to be gone before the actual convention.

Nzinga said he expected “a couple hundred” members of the New Black Panther Party to join a black unity rally that is scheduled to begin on Thursday. Nzinga said he and the Panthers plan to leave Cleveland on Sunday, the day before the convention officially opens.

His group plans to join a “black unity” convention in Cleveland that will hold a series of protest events in the city from this Thursday through at least Sunday.

“We are there to protect… (the black unity) event. We are not trying to do anything else,” he said. “We are going to carry out some of these great legal rights we have — to assemble, to protest and (to exercise) freedom of speech.”

Ok. Fine.

Their intent may very well be peaceful, and if they’re gone before the actual convention, perhaps any incendiary conflicts can be avoided. That’s the hope, at least. There’s already far too much anxiety surrounding the event.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate group watchdog, describes the New Black Panther Party as “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”

But the center said the group has not been found to have actually carried out any violent attacks.

I guess we can all breathe a sigh of relief that voter intimidation is their limit.

With that said, let’s all say a prayer for the people of Cleveland and all who are involved with the convention. A lot of bad actors have the event in their sights, and civility left this election process a long time ago.