Federal judge tosses city’s gag order on First Amendment
A federal judge has struck down the City of Cleveland’s free speech restrictions on Thursday which would have gagged Trump supporters outside the Republican National Convention.
U.S. District Judge James Gwin agreed with pro-Trump organizations represented by the ACLU which sued Cleveland to overturn its rules governing protests during the July 18-21 convention.
“The judge said the times at which people can hold parades, which is only for a few hours each day of the convention and not during the hours in which the delegates are expected to be downtown, are problematic,” cleveland.com reported.
Cleveland was also attempting to force pro-Trump and anti-Trump groups, including Black Lives Matter and Bikers For Trump, to share a single parade route, demonstration areas and a “speaker’s platform” that individuals can “reserve” for 30-minute increments, all of which would have fueled combustible chaos given the anti-Trump protestors in California who chased down and physically attacked Trump voters.
And the city wanted to ban certain items, including backpacks, and tell individuals where they could publicly speak within the nearly four square-mile “event zone” set up outside the Quicken Loans Arena.
In summary, Cleveland was denying Trump supporters the right to peacefully assemble and to use a public address system other than the one city officials control.
As a result of the suit, Cleveland has reduced the security perimeter to a more reasonable one square-mile – which opens up many event possibilities for a planned pro-Trump rally originally rejected by the city.
And, in light of the victory, Infowars has cancelled the “Gagged in Cleveland” protest which was planned outside city hall on July 12.
Cleveland is now conducting settlement talks with rally organizers who hope to schedule events soon.