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Cleveland Lays Down Rules for RNC

Cleveland cops try out their new bikes, purchased for the RNC       (urycki)

The City of Cleveland laid down some ground rules Wednesday 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. Ideastream’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. 

What has been set is a border for what’s called the Event Zone – that is everything east of West 25 th street to the Innerbelt.    And everything from Ontario north to the lake.

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. 

“Our regulations merely say ‘any weapons that are prohibited 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.   The only established parade route is a 1½ mile stretch from West 20 th street across the Lorain Carnegie Bridge to East 9 th Street.  

Horvath says they won’t stop demonstrators from walking on the sidewalks.

“Demonstrations is really just an exercise of 1 st amendment  activity," says Horvath.

“So you’re able to parade on city sidewalks in the central business district.  That was permitted today and it will continue to be permitted during the convention, outside the secure areas.   You do not need to have a parade permit today to march on the sidewalks in the city of Cleveland.” 

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: Willard Park next to City Hall and Perk Park on East 12 th Street.