Here's What You Need to Know

Anyone in Cleveland, as well as elsewhere in Ohio and the country, has the First Amendment right to protest and peaceably assemble. Although the city of Cleveland recently passed a new parade ordinance, you may or may not need to obtain one, depending on where you want to demonstrate; park, public property, or on a sidewalk, or in the street. Keep the following in mind:

    • You don’t need a permit if you’re protesting on public property, such as a park or a public square. You can even protest on a sidewalk, but you and other demonstrators may not block the sidewalk or impede car traffic in any way.

Check out The Rights of Protesters.

    • It’s only necessary to obtain a permit from the city of Cleveland if you need to walk in the street, hold a procession taking up a lot of sidewalk space, or will be crossing intersections in groups that might slow traffic.
    • If an impromptu demonstration is planned as a result of unfolding events, and it meets the above criteria for needing a permit, organizers should notify the Cleveland Division of Police eight hours in advance by calling Field Operations at (216) 623-5011. If you’re unable to reach someone, try calling the general CPD phone number, which is (216) 623-5000.

Protesters at Cleveland GOP Debate - August 6, 2015
  • It’s easy to get a permit if you need one. Download and complete the application. Send the form to the Cleveland Department of Public Works, Office of Events & Marketing at: 500 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114; or by email. Instructions are included on the application. Call (216) 664-2484 for more information.
  • Contact the ACLU with questions. Let us know if you’re having difficulty with this process.