While it may seem impossible to believe, the “real” 2016 election season officially kicks into gear in just a couple of weeks with the first GOP primary debate to be held in Cleveland. (Wait a minute… didn’t the midterm elections just end like a month ago? I feel so old.) The city’s leaders are clearly aware that any time you gather that many Republicans and that many cameras together at the same time, SJW opportunists and the perpetually aggrieved will be out in the streets protesting, so the Rock and Roll Capital of the World is making some last minute changes to their protest, demonstration and parade laws to be ready.
As you might expect, such a move isn’t going to be popular with everyone.
Cleveland is overhauling its rules regulating public demonstrations in preparation for hosting next month’s debate by Republican presidential candidates and next year’s Republican National Convention.
City Council on Wednesday approved fast-track legislation repealing and replacing the city’s existing protest rules, which were last updated in 2003. Among other things, the new rules for the first time define what constitutes a “parade” — a term that also can apply to public protests — and change the process and timeline for acquiring a parade permit. The changes also establish separate rules for “impromptu demonstrations” that typically are organized via social media.
The city wants the new rules to be in place in time for the Republican presidential candidate debate in Cleveland on Aug. 6, according to Rick Horvath, the city’s chief corporate counsel. The city expects there may be protests of the event, which will be nationally televised.
When you click through and read the full list of changes to the regulations, it’s not nearly as ominous as opponents are painting it. At first I was expecting to see something like a 30 day requirement to apply for permits when the debate was three weeks away, or mine fields being installed around the venue. In reality, the city is only requiring 4 days notice and that applicants supply the name and contact information of an organizer along with a map of where the “parade” (read: protest or demonstration) will be taking place. Any “impromptu demonstrations” only require 8 hours notice.
Cleveland is also failing to set up any sort of internment or reeducation camps for dissidents. Violators will not be arrested just for demonstrating without a permit… it’s a misdemeanor and violators will simply receive a ticket. (And in reality, if you have enough of a crowd there won’t be very many tickets issued, so that’s pretty toothless. And whoever pays the protesters this time will likely cover the cost of the ticket anyway.) Of course, that’s only for protesting without a permit. If you take it further and begin attacking the police, burning down the neighborhood or looting, one presumes that harsher penalties will be in store. But the chief goal of the Black Lives Matter crew or whichever other SJW forces show up will still be met. There’s a lot of time to kill before and after a nationally televised event like this and the media will be eating up whatever the protesters are serving. As long as that continues you can expect demonstrators to pay little attention to whatever rules are put in place.