Cleveland to Allow Expanded Convention Protests After ACLU Suit

Thursday, June 30, 2016
Protesters still won't be near Quicken Loans Arena, site of the GOP convention. Credit: Erik Drost / Quicken Loans Arena via Wikipedia

 

Yamiche Alcindor, © 2016 New York Times News Service

CLEVELAND — The city of Cleveland agreed Wednesday to allow protests closer to the site of the Republican National Convention, approving rule changes that increases the amount of space demonstrators can occupy and allows for longer events.

The changes will make protests and other activity along the city’s parade route much more visible and extend the deadline to apply for event permits, said Stephen David, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which sued the city over the rules. A federal judge ruled last week that Cleveland’s regulations on protests and marches during the convention infringed on the right of free expression and ordered city officials and the ACLU to negotiate new rules.

On Wednesday, the Cleveland Board of Control finalized some of those new rules, which extended the parade route where activists are permitted to march, allowed protests to go through parts of downtown Cleveland and gave some larger ... groups more time to demonstrate.

“People will have more opportunities to be seen by delegates especially with the new parade route,” David said. “These regulations are a significant improvement from what we had seen before.”

Still, the protests will not go directly by the Quicken Loans Arena where the nominating convention will take place. But protesters will now be able to march through areas around the arena that were previously off limits, including some public parks. The changes also added buffer times between protests, after some feared that groups supporting Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, might clash with those opposing his nomination.

“The RNC offers a unique stage to groups from all sides of the political spectrum to lift their voices to a national audience,” Christine Link, executive director for the ACLU of Ohio, said in a statement. “The new rules ensure that people have meaningful opportunities to express themselves on some of our most important national issues.”

 

To Learn More:

Obama Administration Spent a Fortune Monitoring Occupy Protests, including Flash Mobs and Yoga Classes (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Judge Overturns 64-Year-Old Law Banning Protests in Front of Supreme Court: Roberts Fights Back (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

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