New rules give protesters more leeway at
Send a link to a friend
[June 30, 2016]
By Kim Palmer
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A federal judge on
Wednesday authorized a new plan allowing protesters at next month's
Republican National Convention in Cleveland to demonstrate in an area
that will be readily visible to convention goers.
The new plan, approved by U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster,
also cuts in half the size of an "event zone" where demonstrations
and mobility will be limited and gives protesters more time to
The agreement between the city of Cleveland and the American Civil
Liberties Union resolves weeks of wrangling over the rules for what
are expected to be lively protests when Donald Trump is due to
become the Republican Party's official nominee for president at the
July 18-21 convention.
Trump campaign events have drawn raucous demonstrations, with some
resulting in clashes between his supporters and opponents.
"This settlement is a significant improvement from what the city had
previously offered," Christine Link, executive director for the ACLU
of Ohio, said in a statement.
The ACLU sued on behalf of three groups planning to organize
thousands of demonstrators, calling the rules too restrictive.
Dan Williams, spokesman for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, described
the changes as "minor" and said he did not believe there would be an
increased security risk as a result.
Cleveland originally planned to cordon off 3.3 square miles (8.5
square km) around the convention site as an event zone where free
speech mobility would be limited.
After another federal judge struck down the city's original plan,
the two sides settled the lawsuit on Friday and took several days to
work out details before revealing the new plan.
The event zone is now 1.7 square miles (4.4 square km).
[to top of second column]
Trump supporters (L) and anti-Trump demonstrators clash on either
side of a police car outside a campaign event for Republican U.S.
presidential candidate Donald Trump in San Diego, California, U.S.
May 27, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew
The new zone frees up parkland where demonstrators will be able to
organize before their protests. It also removes the Port of
Cleveland and a small public airport for corporate jets and air taxi
services from the restricted area.
The main parade route for demonstrators now extends deeper into
central Cleveland and will be more visible from the sports arena
where the main event will take place, and more within the view of
delegates and the media. The previous route took demonstrators
further away from the center of town and over a bridge where they
would be seen primarily by themselves.
In addition, groups were granted extra staging time between
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Citizens for Trump, a
Texas-based group that supports the businessman's campaign; Organize
Ohio, a liberal activist group; and Northeast Ohio Coalition for the
Homeless, a charitable organization.
(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Leslie Adler)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.