• At Cleveland Repub Convention, ‘First Amendment Zones’ Will Detain Protesters Far Away From Trump

    July 18, 2016

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America

    free speech

    Once upon a time, all of America was a First Amendment Zone. That’s now as dead as Alexander Hamilton.

    The city of Cleveland revealed part of its security plan for the Nuremberg rally Republican National Convention. Securing the convention will require a heavily policed, fenced off 3.3 square-mile First Amendment Zone. A fun fact is that the First Amendment Zone is about the same size as Baghdad’s Green Zone.

    (Pictured above is the free speech zone from the 2012 Democratic Convention)

    The Zone concept in Cleveland is to ensure that the people’s rights to free speech are “preserved,” only someplace far enough away that no one can hear them, and surrounded by police so that the speech stays in line.

    The ACLU of Ohio filed a lawsuit to change or block the Zone; the result was only a slight enlargement of the area allotted.

    “What the city has done here is draw a gigantic blanket area that covers most of downtown Cleveland,” says Elizabeth Bonham, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. “When the government takes the extreme step of limiting speech and assembly in any way, the burden is on them to justify that those restrictions are reasonable.”

    Access into the Cleveland Zone will be controlled by law enforcement, who also will regulate protests and other activity (no details available on what that means; I guess people will need to experiment with what free speech will get them Tasered.) No tennis balls, baseballs, umbrellas with metal tips, ladders, sticks, poles, strollers, flashlights, balloons (?) or bike locks will be allowed. The Zone will be overseen by the Cleveland police, the FBI, FEMA, and the U.S. Secret Service.

    Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson has said the Zone and other crowd control measures are “an attempt to balance between safety, security and constitutional rights of people and ensure we have a successful convention.”

    Ah yes, the old standby of “balancing” security and inalienable rights. Gotta love that. Now let’s go bust some hippie heads!

    BONUS: The use of First Amendment Zones is Constitutional under many circumstances. The Supreme Court, via Ward v. Rock Against Racism, developed a four-part analysis to evaluate the constitutionality of time, place and manner (TPM) restrictions. To pass muster under the First Amendment, TPM restrictions must be neutral with respect to content, narrowly drawn, serve a significant government interest, and leave open alternative channels of communication. The test case had to do with a concert that people nearby felt was too loud, and has been expanded to cover the use of First Amendment Zones.

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  • Recent Comments

    • chuck said...


      I buy cage free eggs. The DNC will cage also. Both parties need to be scrambled. Join Cornell West and Carl Dix in Cleveland.When I was with them in NYC rally, new cage tactics were used. Stop Police Terror. Stop all Terror. Wage Peace…

      07/18/16 8:34 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Look at that list of banned items. No strollers, but who’d want to take their baby into the cage match anyway? No squirt guns (water pistols, some people call them) or toy guns, but here’s a fun fact: Ohio is an open carry state. I just heard this morning that the governor was asked to deny the open carry laws for the duration of the convention, but said he could not overstep his legal authority that way.

      So you can bring your real gun if you have a permit [if you are white, they ought to add], but leave those umbrellas at home.

      07/18/16 10:13 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Ray McGovern felt he was safe in a First Amendment Zone but had forgotten that Hillary defines the perimeter at her whim “He came, he stood, he got roughed up cackle cackle!” I live 8 miles from downtown Philadelphia and will not be testing my First Amerndment Rights there. I’ll stay out until after the DMC circus leaves.

      07/18/16 10:54 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      Imagine if Trump invites Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey has declared a terrorist and coup plotter, to speak at the RNC as a snub to Erdogan, who threatens to remove Trump’s name from the Trump Towers Istanbul due to the Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.

      Walls can’t stop drones:


      07/18/16 11:03 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Ray McGov. is a hero, and after I was released from protesting Panetta and others in Congress he was the first to thank me. I can stop drones. Know Drones. TY Nick M. keep on…

      07/18/16 7:58 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      NSA, CIA, and others… My family has worked with you. I work for the people, not the corporate Mafia Parties. Too all, Keep on and beware of all the propaganda we say. The People Speak? I listen. No Justice, No Peace. Use Non Violence… Have a nice night.

      07/18/16 8:02 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Those paid to do political reporting who didn’t “get” Trump months ago should be barred from any further reporting by the MSM. They’ve proven their incompetence and irrelevancy. They didn’t get it then and certainly have no credibility today. Still! they continue to comment and report as if their opinions mean anything anymore.

      07/18/16 8:08 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      Rachel Maddow gets 7 million a year to push the pro gay anti gun, god r program for the Man propaganda agenda. The D and R parties making Liberty, Peace and Justice, a Party issur. I will not party on. Expect U>S> people. Be Non Violent. Have a nice day!

      07/18/16 8:25 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...


      (spell check) impissed

      07/18/16 8:27 PM | Comment Link

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