The GOP convention is scheduled for 18-21 of July in Cleveland. What's the chance of protests dominating the convention? 100% Here's a good example of why:
The Federal government gave Cleveland a $50 m security grant to prepare for the convention. With this money, the city plans to field 4-5,000 officers drawn from around the state. Here's what it they plan to equip them with:
- 2,000 sets of riot-control “turtle suits’’ that include upper body and shoulder protection, shin guards, elbow and forearm protection, tactical hard-knuckle gloves, and 26-inch collapsible batons.
- 16 police motorcycles, 300 patrol bicycles, 310 sets of bicycle riot control gear, and three horse trailers.
- 500 interlocking steel barriers that are 6½ feet high and 2,000 shorter steel barriers.
However, the city didn't put the bid for this equipment out until March. Even if the equipment does turn up in time for the convention (unlikely), there won't be any time to train with it.
This degree of organizational incompetence is more than sufficient to guarantee a bad outcome for a convention city in a good year. However, this year's convention won't be a normal protest.
It will be something altogether different, considering the number of groups planning to protest, the number of protesters expected, the passion of the protesters, recent innovations in disruption, and the quality of the protest leadership headed to Cleveland.
This summer, the city will be hosting the Superbowl of Protest.
Unfortunately for the citizens of Cleveland and the hapless GOP, the city can't play at that level.
It will be a blowout.