- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bikers for Trump and other conservative activists plan to descend on Cleveland during the Republican convention, promising peaceful demonstrations but also possible mayhem if party leaders succeed in denying Donald Trump the nomination.

The pro-Trump forces expected to swarm the rock ‘n’ roll capital of the world in July include Truckers for Trump and Citizens for Trump. But anti-Trump and anti-Republican protests also are expected from groups such as Black Lives Matter, setting the stage for clashes in the streets regardless of what happens on the convention floor.

Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox said his bikers adhere to a code of conduct that forbids instigating violence. That’s been the rule as the group has become a grass-roots political movement, holding rallies from Florida to New York and becoming a regular presence at Trump campaign events, often serving as unofficial security outside the venues.

Still, Mr. Cox said he didn’t know what would happen if Mr. Trump loses the nomination at a brokered convention, which could happen if the real estate mogul fails to secure the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination on the first ballot.

“I don’t want to predict any civil disobedience. I tell you what it won’t look like: It won’t look like the rioting that Black Lives Matter participates in,” he said. “You won’t see any bikers looting any pharmacies or burning any police cars, that’s for sure.”

He said the bikers, truckers and other Trump supporters would behave as “patriots.”

“We are not looking for a fight. But we’re certainly not going to back down from one,” said Mr. Cox. “But that being said, we’re going to be hanging out over where our group is, and we aren’t going to be causing any trouble. We’re just going to have to see what happens.”

A rare contested convention has become more likely this year as the Republican Party establishment attempts to block the front-running Mr. Trump from getting the nomination, and rival Sen. Ted Cruz proves adroit at manipulating the rules to win more delegates.

The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about how it is preparing supporters for the convention. However, organizers said they are taking their cues from the campaign.

Mr. Trump has voiced frustration at what he called a “rigged” process for selecting delegates.

“Our Republican system is absolutely rigged. It’s a phony deal,” Mr. Trump said at a rally Tuesday in Rome, New York. “They should be ashamed at themselves for letting this crap happen.”

Tim Selaty, co-founder of Citizens for Trump, said the candidate’s supporters headed to Cleveland already are angry about the way the process is playing out.

But he said that the pro-Trump presence in Cleveland was being organized as a victory celebration and rally rather than as a tool to influence or intimidate delegates.

He described it as a “massive showing of support for Trump.”

The details were being worked out for marches and rallies outside the convention hall and at other convention-related events throughout the city.

Mr. Selaty, whose group is helping arrange transportation, accommodations and other logistics for Trump supporters going to Cleveland, said he was encouraging them to study the rules and understand how the convention works before getting upset about the outcome.

“Our people are going to have to understand that there are rules to the convention,” he said. “But if they outright steal it from him or he does get to 1,237 and they try to do something even though he has it, there is going to be hell to pay. I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be bad. Horrible bad.”

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