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ACLU Says It Could Finalize A Deal On Republican National Convention Security Zone This Week

The security zone will encompass the Cleveland Convention Center as well as Quicken Loans Arena.
The security zone will encompass the Cleveland Convention Center as well as Quicken Loans Arena.
The security zone will encompass the Cleveland Convention Center as well as Quicken Loans Arena.
Credit M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU
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The security zone will encompass the Cleveland Convention Center as well as Quicken Loans Arena.

  The ACLU and the City of Cleveland are close tofinalizing an agreementthat will re-define – and shrink – the security zone around the Republican National Convention next month.

The security zone is an area downtown in which camping, protests and public speaking are restricted or prohibited. The agreement comes following anACLU lawsuiton the size of the zone, which a judge ruled was “unduly large” and a violation of protestors’ free speech.

Ohio ACLU Executive Director Chris Link says the new boundaries and rules should make the security zone easier to manage for safety officials.

“By granting more time and more permits, they’ll have fewer people freelance demonstrating and marching or holding rallies.”

Camping, protests and public speaking are restricted or prohibited in the security zone, as are a number of household items such as umbrellas with metal tips, canned goods and sleeping bags. Link says the new deal has an exclusion for the homeless.

“Homeless people who carry everything they own on their backs or in a shopping cart or a plastic bag won’t be forced to abandon their few little possessions simply because their shelter had been in the event zone.”

Link expects the deal to be finalized this week or next. She also says it will give tourists coming downtown more confidence that security will be handled properly. A spokesman for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson had no comment on the suit.

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