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Be prepared: steps to staying safe while covering US political party conventions

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 DarkKnightNomeD    2,078


While people are still tunnel "vision'd" on BLM - This is what's going on.




Some news orgs providing Cleveland-bound journalists with body armor used in conflict zones ""



Be prepared: steps to staying safe while covering US political party conventions



The U.S. political party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia this summer carry the risk of civil unrest. While protests have long occurred both inside and outside of convention venues, security experts and political commentators have said this year's gatherings have the potential for unrest not seen since in the U.S. since the Vietnam war-era clashes in Chicago during the Democratic Party convention in 1968

Many journalists and news organizations are investing in civil unrest awareness training. My firm, Global Journalist Security, has run a two-day Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid--Civil Unrest class specifically for the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions. (The course was recently profiled in The New Yorker.)

Cleveland is preparing for potential riots, investing the $50 million in federal grant money given to the host city on purchasing riot gear including 2,000 full-body "turtle" suits, helmets, shields, and batons, along with steel barricades to control protesters. The city's attempts to establish a 3.5-mile "event zone" to restrict protests near the convention site were struck down last month by a federal judge in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, according to reports. The ruling judge said that the proposed zone was "unduly large" and restrictive of First Amendment rights. Philadelphia is investing $43 million of its federal grant money provided for security measures to purchase similarly comprehensive riot gear, The Associated Press reported.

The Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, from July 18 to 21, will occur first and, based on the physical altercations and violent rhetoric reported on the campaign trail, is expected to draw the most unrest. The presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, said on CNN earlier this year that riots could occur if he was denied the Republican Party's nomination. Some Republican figures have suggested that the convention rules pledging delegates vote for Trump following his primary victories be changed to allow them to vote "their conscious" in Cleveland, according to reports.

ect read on the link.


  • Protective gear. Gas masks. We would normally recommend that journalists consider bringing well-fitting respirator masks to help protect against the use of pepper spray and tear gas. Local media in Cleveland have reported police using both against Ohio state football fans. However, the City of Cleveland has included gas masks on its list of items banned from the "Event Zone" during the convention with no exemptions for journalists.
    Body armor. Firearms will be permitted within the Republican National Convention "Event Zone." In the wake of the Dallas, Texas, attacks at a protest on July 7, journalists from at least four major news organizations have told CPJ that news teams headed to the Cleveland conference will be provided with body armor designed for use in conflict zones. Others covering the conferences should consider whether they also want body armor--and at what level of protection.

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