ACLU: Cleveland RNC Settlement Includes Smaller 'Event Zone,' Longer Parade Route
by Nick Castele
Cleveland and the American Civil Liberties Union are finalizing a settlement that would change the city’s protest rules during the Republican National Convention.
Originally, Cleveland officials had included downtown and part of the Flats in what they called the “event zone.” Inside that, demonstrators were asked to apply for permits, and had to abide by a list of rules. The route for marches headed east across the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge before ending near on-ramps for I-77 and I-90.
But a federal judge last week said the city’s rules were too restrictive, and both parties later reached a settlement.
The executive director for the Ohio ACLU, Christine Link, didn’t outline the specific boundaries, but said the new event zone is smaller, and the new parade route is longer.
“It no longer leaves off in kind of a mess of bridge abutments and concrete,” Link said. “And most importantly, the number of hours have been extended, so there’ll be room for more groups to parade.”
Link said the event zone’s restrictions will not apply to people who are homeless.
A spokesman for the city of Cleveland said he won’t yet comment on the details.
The agreement is still being finalized and will then be filed with the court.