ACLU, city of Cleveland settle RNC protest lawsuit

ACLU, city of Cleveland settle RNC protest lawsuit

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The American Civil Liberties Union and the city of Cleveland are working out a settlement that will lift restrictions with which city officials tried to handcuff Republican National Convention protesters.

"It is a big win for the marchers and the people we represent," said Christine Link with the ACLU. "They are going to have so much more freedom this way and still be safe."

A Judge granted a motion by the ACLU for a preliminary injunction on Thursday. The court sided with the ACLU, and said the city was being too broad with its restrictions. The judge said it was unconstitutional to tell free citizens where they can protest, where they can set up and where they can spread their message

"People will be able to get their voice out more easily," Link said.

City officials won't yet reveal details of the settlement but Cleveland 19 News has learned it will include a marching route hundreds of feet closer to Progressive Field, where RNC events will be held.

"The new route will go down farther on Carnegie Avenue, will jog around and almost make a circle," Link said. "And it also goes past a large green space where people can stop and have a speech or a hot dog."

The city will also add extended hours to protest, along with buffer hours between groups.

All the final details on the settlement should be released sometime next week.

Leaders of local groups planning to protest during the RNC came together Friday to thank the judge for his ruling. They also thanked the ACLU for fighting for their free speech rights.

Protesters that spoke with Cleveland 19 news said there will be peaceful protests in Cleveland during the convention. One protester was holding a sign that read, "Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor."

Alfred Porter, president of Black on Black Crime, said the peaceful crowd that came out for the Cleveland Cavaliers' championship parade was encouraging.

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