ACLU challenging Cleveland on RNC protest permits

The ACLU of Ohio says the city of Cleveland is violating the free speech rights of protest groups by delaying approval of their event permits for the Republican National Convention.

ACLU of Ohio fired off a letter to the city on behalf of Citizens for Trump, Organize Ohio and activist John Penley. Organizers can’t hold events without approved permits and city officials have said groups may have to wait until two weeks before the convention, the ACLU said.

“Delays by the city are effectively blocking groups from exercising their fundamental right to political expression,” said Christine Link, executive director of the ACLU of Ohio, in a written statement. “Cleveland is using security planning as a mask to suppress political speech. The city’s decision to allow such long delays is creating unacceptable barriers for potential demonstrators, regardless of political affiliation.”

The ACLU’s message to the city: approve the permits before June 1 or face court action.

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