ACLU threatens lawsuit over convention protest applications

CLEVELAND (AP) — The ACLU of Ohio is threatening to sue Cleveland if city officials don’t decide by June 1 whether to approve permits to groups planning rallies and marches during July’s Republican National Convention.

The ACLU in a letter sent Thursday to Cleveland’s law department said it represents Organize! Ohio, Citizens for Trump and John Penley, a North Carolina man who wants space in a city park space for anti-Trump protesters. Groups have been told by the city that permits won’t be granted until two weeks before the convention, after the U.S. Secret Service finalizes its security plan.

Organize! Ohio and Citizens for Trump are planning large events that could draw thousands July 18, the first day of the convention.

A Cleveland spokesman says the city hadn’t received the ACLU’s letter.