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By Chris Fuchs

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Just hours before Donald Trump is expected to accept the Republican nomination for president Thursday, a group marched across the Lorain Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland to protest his candidacy, calling Trump’s message fearful, xenophobic, sexist, and racist.

Some members of the group, Stand Together Against Trump (STAT), also wore t-shirts that read “Muslim Doctors Save Lives in Cleveland” to bring attention to the sizeable number of doctors and medical researchers who live and work in the Cleveland area, spokesperson Monica Moran told NBC News.

“We think the community as a whole would be at a loss if we didn’t have them to work side by side,” she said.

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Moran said around 1,000 people joined the march, which proceeded along a designated parade route set up for the convention. In the beginning, between five and seven people heckled STAT marchers and made anti-Muslim comments, she said.

“They did that, and we ignored them and continued with our message, which was positive,” she said.

Protesters march in a rally against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the final day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.DOMINICK REUTER / AFP - Getty Images

Trump has drawn criticism from some for calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country. In an interview on "60 Minutes" Sunday, the GOP nominee said there should be "extreme vetting" of persons from "territories" with a history of terror, though he did not explicitly abandon his previous across-the-board ban.

Last week, following the truck attack in France, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that "every person here who is of a Muslim background" should be tested on whether he or she believes in Shariah, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scriptures.

STAT, formed in April, plans to hold a rally at Public Square in Cleveland, beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

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