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Government & Politics

Cleveland Sets the Rules for Protests During the RNC

Image of 2016 RNC logo

The City of Cleveland laid down some ground rules yesterday for the Republican National Convention in mid-July.   

The police department, legal department and the Secret Service worked together to establish certain areas for speakers and marchers.  For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Mark Urycki has details.

The borders of the high security zone around Quicken Loans Arena have not yet been set, but the Secret Service says it will do so as soon as possible.  That area will include several blocks and be fenced off with no one getting in without special credentials. 

During the four-day convention, certain items within that zone will be banned, including BB guns, ladders, and umbrellas with metal tips. But the city’s Chief Corporate Counsel Rick Horvath says guns are OK, under state law. 

“The city of Cleveland cannot regulate firearms in the state of Ohio.” 

There will be a speakers’ corner at Public Square.  Any parades or marches within the event zone will require permits.  

Police Chief Calvin Williams has had some experience with protesters taking to the streets in the past year.   He says the police will act as they have.

“If there’s a public safety component to it, we will enforce the law. If there’s not a public safety component to it, if we can direct traffic around it like we always do, and we can have business flow as normal, then we will do that.  It depends on the situation.”

Two parks have been designated for groups to set up tables or installations, but officials acknowledge that all the parks are open for gatherings.