Cleveland Sets New Protest Zone For “Dangerous” GOP Convention

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Hate groups are planning a visible presence among the thousands of protesters at the Republican National Convention next month. Police departments are raising flags about Cleveland’s preparedness to host the event, Politico reports. The committee organizing the convention warned that any last-minute changes to the city’s protest restrictions could make it impossible to guarantee conventiongoers’ safety. Then a judge threw out the plan. There is a backdrop of uncertainty and anxiety less than three weeks before delegates congregate to nominate Donald Trump for president. “It’s more dangerous. It’s going to be far more dangerous for every one of us,” said Regina Thomson, a delegate from Colorado.

The Committee on Arrangements — the Republican Party’s convention-planning body — has yet to issue safety and logistical guidance to delegates, guests and media, who will be arriving en masse in two weeks. Both pro- and anti-Trump activists will flood the streets of downtown Cleveland, sometimes simultaneously, and could create a volatile atmosphere for conventiongoers. Cleveland has insisted for months that it’s prepared to handle the influx. The city just hosted 1.3 million people for a parade to celebrate the NBA champion Cavaliers. The convention is expected to draw about 50,000. The police department has issued a 50-page security blueprint that spells out its law enforcement plans, along with emergency response, first aid and tactical resources. The city is likely to issue revised boundaries for its protest zone today. The original plan was tossed by U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin last week after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit, claiming the zone was too restrictive.

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