The National Security Event known as the Republican National Convention kicks off Monday, July 18, and more than 50,000 delegates, activists, artists, journalists, politicians, out-of-town police, open-carry enthusiasts, and just about anyone else you can think of except the Republican establishment are descending on Cleveland this weekend while, by all accounts, Clevelanders make tracks out of town. Case Western has effectively shut down campus for the week; Cleveland State is right behind them. The Cleveland police have purchased 2,000 sets of riot gear and 10,000 flexible handcuffs while they remain governed by a consent decree. Peter Thiel, Melania Trump, Ted Cruz, and Newt Gingrich are slated to speak — but it’s apparently too long of a trip for Sarah Palin. Meanwhile, it remains increasingly unclear who’s going to be able to pay the bill.
Following is our non-comprehensive guide to an incomprehensible moment. To be updated throughout the week, as events dictate.
What’s where, and how to get there
- Here’s the RNC’s official FAQ — fiercely out of date, with information on road closures and the perimeter of the event zone all still TBD. Thanks guys.
- The New York Times has an interactive guide to the event zone, speakers stage, designated public art areas, and the parade route.
- Cleveland.com offers this FAQ.
- And, here is event and parade zone info, per the City of Cleveland:
- As well as details on road closures. (Also here, as a single map.)
- And these recommended detours.
- By far the best way to get around is the RTA. For $20 you can buy a special seven-day pass offering unlimited rides between July 17-23. Downtown trolleys will run late during the RNC.
- New York Magazine offers its own eclectic guide to goings on over the week.
- As does Thrillist.
- While Gothamist presents an activists’ guide to the RNC (and the DNC too for overachievers).
- Cool Cleveland put together this arts-and-events-oriented Guide to the RNC for Progressives
- And Cleveland.com presents its own “survival guide” to goings-on far from the downtown crowds.
- The site Counter RNC 2016 includes info on all manner of events happening in response to the RNC — and also includes a form to request housing and transformation assistance.
- On Facebook, you can go ahead and like the page to Resist the 2016 Cleveland RNC, a clearinghouse for info on protest activity and resource sharing.
Select protests, rallies, and parades
- Saturday: National March and Massive Rally Against Racism, Injustice, and White Supremacy
- Sunday: The official welcome/”community thank you” party (includes free admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
- Sunday: Join hands on Hope Memorial Bridge to Circle the City With Love
- Monday: Citizens for Trump “America First Unity Rally”
- Monday: Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC
- Monday: End Poverty Now! March for Economic Justice
- Tuesday: IMPACT 2016 Social Justice Forum (through Thursday)
- Wednesday: Wall off Trump
- Thursday: Stand Together Against Trump
- The Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is coordinating legal support for protestors.
- The site Cleveland Movement Law offers resources if you or someone you know is arrested.
- Want to bone up on rights? Here’s the ACLU’s 2016 Republican National Convention: A Constitutional Playbook.
- Sign up for the Code Red community emergency notification system to get text updates on, well, emergencies. Here’s hoping this doesn’t get a road test.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center offers this guide to extremist groups planning to attend.
- Here’s a list of which bars and restaurants are open downtown.
- Two local chapters of Food not Bombs will be distributing free food all week long.
- Local activists and/or generally decent people are opening up homes for protestors.
- While, on Craigslist, prices are soaring … but you might maybe score a last minute bed, camper, or slice of floor.
And when it’s all over, and Clevelanders have returned to the roost, they might want to head out to the Happy Dog for to figure out what the hell just happened.
Got an event or resource we should include? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.