Monday, July 18, 2016

Cleveland Braces for Major Security Threats at Republican National Convention

I'd be surprised if we didn't see Ferguson-style rioting over these next few days. And if we do, those comparisons we're seeing to the Summer of '68 are going to be prophetic.

At NYT, "A Civil Start to Protests, but Cleveland Is Bracing for Worse":

Ferguson Riots photo tumblr_nflrjd6Kmr1s4t1cno1_1280_zps6537dd3d.jpg
CLEVELAND — The barricades were up and the police were ready, but the rowdy protests expected to descend this week on Cleveland for the Republican National Convention were contained to small pockets of unrest amid largely peaceful demonstrations across the city.

At the height of the protests early Sunday evening, about 200 demonstrators marched down Euclid Avenue in the heart of downtown, stopping traffic and shouting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!” as they neared Quicken Loans Arena, the site of the convention. The crowd, which was also directing its ire at Donald J. Trump, was circled by police officers in cars and on bicycles and horseback.

Some protesters said they had been handled roughly by the police, and there were reports of people being detained.

“They pushed us against the wall and said, ‘We are going to search your bags,’” said Cloud Kallisti, 43, of Akron.

The protesters were animated by both Mr. Trump, the presumptive presidential nominee, and recent violence between the police and civilians. While some protesters spilled into the streets, there were few signs of the violence or mass arrests that the authorities had feared, giving the day a feeling of relative calm before a potential storm, with the convention beginning Monday....

The coalition of protesters was broad, including some from Black Lives Matter, a pro-Palestine group and Code Pink, an all-female group whose members showed up wearing pink Statue of Liberty costumes.

Marching alongside the protesters was a group of volunteers calling themselves the “Peace Team.” Dressed in bright yellow jerseys, they said they were around to keep the peace.

Despite the general civility on Sunday, the police are expecting the protests to intensify this week. City officials have devised plans to handle mass arrests, identifying jail facilities that could hold more than 975 people and planning to keep courts open for 20 hours daily to process cases. Hospitals have stockpiled medical supplies and prepared for convention-related emergencies.

Cleveland is bringing in roughly 2,500 law enforcement officers from as far away as California, Florida and Texas to bolster its convention-dedicated force of about 500. It is also deploying a video unit to document crowd management and police activity.

Calvin D. Williams, Cleveland’s police chief, said at a news conference on Sunday morning that the city could not be better prepared.

“We planned for almost anything and everything,” he said. “It’s game time,” he added. “We are ready for it.”
"Game time."

That's for sure. Let's hope police open up with some full-body slamming on those Black Lives Matter and Code Pink protesters, lol.