CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - You can demonstrate all you want at this summer's Republican Convention, but if you want to use a park, you've got to get a permit, if you want to have a parade you have to get a permit, if you want to make a speech on public square you've gotta get a permit.
"A lot has been said if Cleveland is prepared for the RNC in about 50 days, I have to tell you we are prepared," said Police Chief Calvin Williams as he addressed the department's readiness.
The city held a news conference Wednesday to lay out a plan about permits and parade route. At the city hall briefing it was clear a lot of work has been put into convention planning.
The so called 'event zone' is huge. Stretching from West 25th street on the west to the Innerbelt on the East, from the Lake to the north to the Lorain Carnegie Bridge over the river, and Orange Avenue downtown.
Within it are security zones where permits are needed.
According to Assistant Law Director Rick Horvath, "There's a limited amount of space. We're hoping to accommodate everyone who wants to use, that is our goal, but at some point in time we could get so many requests that we're not gonna be able to accommodate them all."
In Charlotte and Tampa four years ago there was little trouble, much of the reason was that police and the city put out the welcome mat not just to conventioneers but to protestors.
In Cleveland they're calling them marchers and the approach here will be much the same.
Water provided to marchers, police tolerating protests unless they pose a safety concern or block traffic and even a stage and sound system
provided on public square where anyone can make a half hour speech.
Each event will be given an hour and can only be staged during certain hours. Park use permits will be granted for Willard Park and Perk Park only on a first come first served basis and it is all being done online.
Anyone wanting to make a speech on Public Square will be given a half hour.
The RNC will be held at Quicken Loans Arena from July 18-21.
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