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FBI, Police Intimidate Activists Ahead of Republican Convention

  • Protesters and activists are being harrased by authorities leading up to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

    Protesters and activists are being harrased by authorities leading up to the Democratic and Republican national conventions. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 June 2016
Opinion

In response to the dubious policing tactics, the National Lawyers Guild announced it will hold a “Know Your Rights” workshop planned for Friday. 

Leading up to the Republican National Convention law enforcement agencies have been carrying out intimidating visits to the homes of activists, in efforts to obtain intelligence for possible planned demonstrations. 

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Activist households have been targeted by law enforcement officials to ensure a “safe and secure” Republican National Convention, the FBI’s Cleveland division spokeswoman, Donna Sullivan, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Police units were deployed earlier this week and turned up unannounced at the private homes of potential activists, a move that local civil rights advocacy groups argue is “a form of intimidation." 

Jocelyn Rosnick of the National Lawyers Guild, or NLG, told local media outlets that nearly a dozen activists have reported visits by teams of federal and local law enforcement officials this week alone.

In response to the dubious policing tactics, the National Lawyers Guild announced it will hold a “Know Your Rights” workshop planned for Friday. 

The disturbing revelations take place as the city of Cleveland and the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, of Ohio reached a settlement regarding the city's rules governing protests and marches during the upcoming Republican National Convention.

The city had been seeking  to impose a restricted zone of 3.3 square miles around the Quicken Loans Arena, site of the convention, where free speech and mobility would have been limited. This prompted an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of three protest groups that argued the so-called event zone was too large and the security regulations too strict.

Details of the new event zone and protest rules have not yet been released.

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Donald Trump is expected to become the Republican Party's official nominee for president at the July 18-21 convention, which will attract protesters opposed to the Republican frontrunner.

Trump campaign events have drawn large and raucous demonstrations with some resulting in clashes between the candidate's supporters and opponents.

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, of Ohio sued the city on behalf of two groups planning events — Citizens For Trump and left-leaning Organize Ohio — and an advocacy group for the homeless. 

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