Friday, June 24, 2016

Imperial Women Coalition news: Cleveland settles Ohio ACLU lawsuit over RNC protest restrictions, and the Imperial Women Coalition will open the city's Public Square speaking forum....The Cleveland NAACP accuses the FBI of harassing protesters....The Imperial Women Coalition, led by activist Kathy Wray Coleman, will speak at 9:30 am on Public Square on July 18, the opening day of the Republican National Convention, on violence against women issues and at 12:30 pm on jobs, education, housing, the legal system and the need for a living wage....Other groups with speaking slots on Public Square the opening day of the RNC include Black on Black Crime Inc. at 11 am to address police brutality and police killings, assistant Cuyahoga County public defender Michael Hurley, and an activist Muslim woman from North Carolina who opposes the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Donald Trump....Activists will also march the same day at 2 pm with Organize Ohio, others for an anti-poverty march....www.clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader


CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio — The lawsuit filed last week by the ACLU of Ohio claiming city officials are violating the free speech rights of protesters relative to the upcoming Republican National Convention in Cleveland the week of July 18-21 has been settled with a few concessions after Federal District Court Judge James Gwin, on Thursday, found constitutional infractions and issued a preliminary injunction.

Filed on behalf of the White-led groups Citizens for Trump, Organize Ohio, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the former group a conservative organization and the latter two of which are liberal types, the city has agreed to give these groups their requested parade routes after stalling for months, also an issue raised in the contentious lawsuit. 

Other lawsuit concessions include a reduction in the 3.3 mile RNC event security zone, which is designed to lock protesters out of the areas closest to the downtown convention, additional dates and time for parade routes and a few speaking soap boxes closer to the convention site. 

Unofficial speaking soap boxes, however, cannot include microphones or platforms.

Stipulations regarding the two downtown parks allocated for protesters were deemed unconstitutional by Judge Gwinn, and, per the settlement, are more open for demonstrators to exercise free speech  independent of slated governmental intimidation.

The city's official speaking forum on Public Square, open all four days of the convention from 9:30 am-6 pm for 30 minute interval speeches, will remain intact, though speakers must  still secure permits.

Permits are also required for the parade routes, the parks' forum and practically everything else.

Ohio ACLU Executive Director Christine Link, a proponent of the now-infamous free speech RNC lawsuit, has stepped up on behalf of demonstrators and has called the anti-free speech harassment of them arbitrary and capricious, and unconstitutional.

Recent reports say that law enforcement officials, led by the FBI, have been allegedly harassing greater Cleveland activists, most White and affiliated with the communist party who were arrested following chaos of an acquittal verdict last year by Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell of a since fired Cleveland police officer (Michael Brelo) on manslaughter charges. (Editor's note: Brelo and 12 other non-Black Cleveland police officers gunned down unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43, slinging 137 bullets and following a high-speed car chase in November 2012 that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in neighboring East Cleveland, a largely Black and impoverished Cleveland suburb. The other officers were not indicted per the recommendation to the grand jury of Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty, whom voters, led by the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, 11th congressional district Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, and Black activists, ousted from office in the March Democratic primary election). 

That alleged harassment, sources say,  includes surprised  home visits with questions on what the Brelo activists, and some others, might do at the convention to promote violence.

Those purported home invasions have angered Cleveland NAACP President Michael Nelson Sr., who has urged authorities to "remember the constitution."

The greater Cleveland grassroots group the Imperial Women Coalition will open the city's speaking forum on Public Square at 9:30 am on July 18 and will address violence against women issues and women's rights in general. They will return to speak again at 12:30 pm the same day to address, jobs, education, housing, the legal system and the need for a living wage.

Others speaking on the Public Square protest stage the opening day of the convention include Michael Hurley, an assistant Cuyahoga County public defender who speaks at 10:45 pm, Black on Black Crime Inc, a local activist group that will speak at 11 am on police brutality and murders, and a North Carolina Muslim woman who has traveled the states to take on the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

"We, the Imperial Women Coalition, look forward to opening the city's official Public Square speaking platform stage the morning of July 18 to address, in a non-violent manner, violence against women and women's issues in general, and to returning at 12:30 pm the same day to deal with jobs, education, housing, the legal system, and the need for a living wage," said Kathy Wray Coleman, a longtime greater Cleveland activist and who leads the Cleveland-based Imperial Women Coalition. and who edits Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read online Black newspaper.

Coleman's  group was founded around the murders of 11 Black women on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland by serial killer and death row inmate Anthony Sowell, who is seeking a new trial with support of the Ohio ACLU, which has filed an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court where the case is pending.
Other greater Cleveland murders of women for which Coleman has led rallies pertain to the East Cleveland serial killer Michael Madison murders, and the Cleveland East 93rd Street Murders of three women in 2013, namely Christine Malone,  43, Jasmine Trotter, 20, and Ashley Leszyeski, 21, and whose serial killer is still at large.

"We will be there on Public Square with Ms. Coleman and other activists and we want the person who killed our mother (Christine Malone) captured, indicted, and brought to justice." said Angelique Malone, one of eight grown children of murder victim Christine Malone, who was Black.
Also a children's advocate, Coleman has also spearheaded rallies regarding the celebrated abduction and rape and kidnapping case of Ariel Castro, who held Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry captive for a decade on the city's west side, and who hanged himself in prison while serving a life sentence.