With the Republicans holding their national convention in Cleveland starting on July 18, 2016, I thought that it would be a good time to take a look at a list of items that the City of Cleveland has put on its "no no" list for anyone wishing to attend as either a supporter of Donald Trump and the Republican Party or as a protestor.
According to the City of Cleveland, the three day event is expected to draw up to 50,000 people. That is a lot of visitors for a city of just 388,072 (July 2015 estimate). Let's start by looking at the city's "Prohibited Items" list, keeping in mind that Ohio is an "open-carry" state:
(1) Lumber larger than 2” in width and 1⁄4” thick, including supports for signs;
(2) Metal, plastic, or other hard material larger than 3⁄4” thick and 1/8” in wall thickness including pipe and tubing;
(3) Any air rifle, air pistol, paintball gun, blasting caps, switchblade or automatic knife, knife having a blade two and one-half (2-1/2) inches in length or longer, cestus, billy, blackjack, sword, saber, hatchet, axe, slingshot, BB gun, pellet gun, wrist shot, blackjack, metal knuckles, nun chucks, mace, iron buckle, axe handle, shovel, or other instrumentality used to cause property or personal damage;
(4) Any dangerous ordinance, weapon, or firearm that is prohibited by the laws of the State of Ohio;
(5) Any explosives, explosive device, or incendiary device;
(6) Fireworks and rockets;
(7) Sound Amplification Equipment;
(8) Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems;
(9) Containers of bodily fluids;
(10) Aerosol cans;
(11) Mace, Pepper Spray or other chemical irritant;
(12) Umbrellas with metal tips;
(13) Any projectile launchers, such as water guns and water cannons;
(14) Rope, chain, cable, strapping, wire, string, line, tape, or any similar material, in lengths greater than 6’;
(15) Glass bottles, ornaments, light bulbs, ceramic vessels, and any other frangible container, regardless of whether the container holds any substance;
(16) Locks including, without limitation, padlocks, bicycle locking devices, chain locks or similar devices, but not including: (i) an integral component of a conveyance or structure; (ii) locks when utilized by the owner of private real property to secure permanent or temporary fencing; or (iii) locks attached to a bicycle;
(17) Any gas mask or similar device designed to filter all air breathed by the wearer in an attempt to protect the respiratory tract and/or face against irritating or noxious gasses or other materials. This prohibition on gas masks shall not apply to any person wearing a medical oxygen mask that fits over the nose and mouth of the person and provides oxygen from an oxygen tank to the person;
(18) Tents and other shelters, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, mattresses, cots, hammocks, bivy sacks, or stoves;
(19) Coolers or ice chests;
(20) Backpacks and bags exceeding the size of 18” x 13” x 7”;
(22) Non-plastic containers, bottles, cans, or thermoses;
(24) Grappling hooks, sledgehammers, hammers, and crowbars;
(25) Canned goods;
(26) Tennis balls; and
(27) Any other item determined by the Chief or Director to be a clear and present danger to the safety of others.
Basically, if you plan to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention, you'd be safest to wear clothes with empty pockets.
As always, there are exceptions to the rules. The aforementioned items can be in the possession of a person if:
1.) they are employed within the Event Zone and the possession of the item is in the normal course of the person's business or employment and is used within that place of employment.
2.) they reside within the Event Zone and the item is kept and used within their residence.
3.) they are a member of law enforcement or government employee possessing one of the banned items in the course of their normal duties.
4.) they are medical professionals performing their normal duties.
Now, just in case you thought it would be fun to block traffic or a sidewalk, the City of Cleveland has that covered too:
(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to obstruct the public’s ability to freely move about on rights-of-way, sidewalks and other areas to which the public has access, to possess or place any tool, object, instrument, or any combination thereof, that is adapted, designed, or intended to be used for obstructing the public’s ability to freely move about on rights-of-way, sidewalks or any other area to which the public has access. This shall include, but is not limited to, the maneuver commonly referred to as the “Sleeping Dragon,” tripods, bipod, pole, any sections of pipe or containers filled with or wrapped in weighted material such as concrete and/or containing handcuffs, chains, carabiners, padlocks, road stars, or other locking devices.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to inhibit, for any reason, the movement of emergency equipment on streets, rights-of-way or sidewalks.
(c) It is unlawful for any person to place any instrument, tripod, bipod or other pole or object with the intent to obstruct the public’s ability to freely move about on rights-of-way, sidewalks, entrance and exit to private property or any other area to which the public has access.
(d) It is unlawful for any person to attach themselves to another person, building, Vehicle, or fixture with the intent to obstruct the public’s ability to freely move about on rights-of-way, sidewalks, entrances and exits to private property, or any other area to which the public has access.
Once again, government employees are exempt from these rules if they are performing their official duties. in the performance of their official duties shall be exempt from this section.
It is also interesting to note the following:
No Parade of more than two hundred (200) individuals shall be held within five hundred (500) feet of any other Parade involving more than two hundred (200) individuals whether on a Sidewalk or on the Official Parade Route in the Event Zone.
Again, just in case you were planning to attend and wondered what the boundaries of the Event Zone are, here's the Official Master Map from the City of Cleveland showing the Event Zone, the Vending Zones, the Speaker's Platform, the Parade Route and the Mobile Vending Route:
If you do plan to demonstrate or otherwise create a ruckus while in the Rock and Roll city, keep in mind that, because the RNC is deemed a National Special Security Event, Cleveland was entitled to a $50 million federal grant to help the city implement its security plan. In March 2016, Cleveland was looking for bids for 2000 sets of riot gear, particularly the Elite Defender riot control suit as shown here:
...and 26 inch long Monadnock batons with power tip shown here complete with directions for maximum effectiveness:
I do like how the “officer” in the video shows a potential user how not to accidentally hit a fellow police officer with their baton, saving it for use against nearby civilians.
The city has also purchased three hundred bicycles and bike helmets for $386,600 and five hundred interlocking steel barriers measuring 6.5 feet high and 6.5 feet long for $69,995.
Enjoy your time in Cleveland and whatever you do, leave those nunchucks and that dreaded two by four lumber at home!