CLEVELAND -- In Cleveland's Public Square, where speakers of various political stripes have come and gone largely without tension for the last two days, one of the far right's most prominent voices and two men calling him "Nazi scum" scuffled briefly in one of the most tense encounters the city has seen during the Republican National Convention.

Infowars' Alex Jones, the popular radio host, 9/11 “truther” and conspiracy theorist — who took a stage to cheers at a pro-Trump rally on Monday — arrived on the scene around 4 p.m. and was immediately surrounded by news cameras. Shouting through a megaphone, he led some in the crowd in a chant of "Hillary For Prison" — the same message Infowars has emblazoned on rented trucks to drive around Cleveland this week — as counter-protesters drew close.

Jones pushed through the media crush toward a set of steps on the north side of the historic square, reporters backing out of his way. That's when two men waving red flags descended the stairs, shouting, "Off our streets, Nazi scum!" Pushing and shoving ensued. This Inquirer reporter was briefly knocked to the ground but was not injured Jones yelled that the men were attacking him.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, who had been shaking hands in the square for much of the afternoon, was on the steps as the fray ensued. Bike officers moved in to defuse the situation within seconds, pushing media and onlookers back as Jones whisked through the crowd, a trail of cameras and protesters running after him.
Jones boarded an SUV and sped off. Police cordoned off the square with bikes as a group of anti-Islam street preachers took the eastern steps and began to shout through bullhorns.
For a few moments, the square was tense, full of protesters yelling back at the preachers, cameras surrounding the more vocal among them, and hundreds of officers ringing the area. Then, the crowds began to trickle away.
Reporters sat down to file stories. The preachers kept yelling.

On the other side of the park — and unrelated to the Alex Jones scrum — members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested.

And as a small group of protesters moved up the street, a large number of cops and reporters followed.

Around 7 p.m., the crowds had mostly petered out, and police gave them five minutes to clear the intersection.