City of Cleveland gives update to RNC plans

Posted at 9:43 AM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 18:12:02-04

The City of Cleveland revealed Wednesday additional plans for the Republican National Convention, coming to the city this July.

The announcement included information about parade routes, park use, speaker's platforms and event zone permit regulations.

Mayor Frank Jackson and RNC Secret Service Coordinator Ronald Rowe Jr. announced the perimeters of the event zone—where rally and protest permits will later be approved. 

The event zone is bordered by West 25th Street on the west side and the Innerbelt bridge on the east side. The Lorain-Carnegie Bridge forms the southern border. 

Groups filing for protest permits will have to re-submit applications through an electronic form. They will be contacted in the order in which their original applications were submitted. The online application process will open on May 31. 

The offiicial parade route will start on the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, turn right on to Ontario and then Orange Ave. 

The City of Cleveland will be issuing scheduled parade permits for one-hour increments.

Route times are expected to run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2016 and the last parade will end by 5:00 p.m. On the following dates parades will run from from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the last parade is expected to end no later than 2:00 p.m.

The City also released the following information about park permits, the speaker platform and vendor zones:  

Official Park Use Permits will allow the placement of Public Art and Public Installations on Perk Plaza and Willard Park.

An Official Speakers Platform will be in place on Public Square and speakers may sign up for 30 minute time slots scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the last speaking event will be scheduled to end by 6:30 p.m. each day of the Convention.

Official Revised Mobile and Stationary Vendor Zones: The Board of Control approved revised mobile and stationary vendor routes and locations to accommodate the vendors during the Republican National Convention.

RELATED | RNC demonstrators continue to wait for permits, one group threatens legal action

As for safety? 

"We are prepared," said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. 

Williams acknowledged that there will likely be protesters who do not apply for permits. 

"If there’s a public safety component to it, we will enforce the law," he said.  "If there’s not a public safety component to it, if we can direct traffic around like we always do and still have business flow as normal, then we’ll do that."

Shortly after the media conference Wednesday, several demonstrators wrote a letter to the city, saying they find the protest route and time limitations "vague and unacceptable."

Read the entire letter below:

The Republican National Committee deserves a safe space in which to select its nominee. The citizens of the United States equally deserve broad opportunities to lawfully use public space for peaceful demonstrations. Confining demonstrators to a short route area for a limited time period in the morning and early afternoon is concerning regarding our 1st amendment’s right to free speech and the right to assemble. Based on what has been presented at the press conference by the City of Cleveland on May 25, we find these extreme limitations vague and unacceptable. We look forward to working with the city to ensure peaceful protests and free speech are given space throughout the RNC. As we continue to review the detailed proposals, our organizations will release further statements.