As with every nomination convention, activists will mobilize in the thousands to capture the attention and influence the actions of elected officials, the press and the watching nation.
As of right now, eight activist groups have submitted petitions to demonstrate during the week of the convention. According to the office of the Philadelphia mayor, five of the requests have been approved, two are still pending, and one was given a preliminary denial. It is possible that more demonstrations will be approved in the coming months, as applications will be accepted until five days before the start of the convention.
The first group to be approved was the environmental organization Food & Water Watch, which is coordinating a five-thousand-person march to raise awareness of the dangers of fracking and climate change.
The other four approved groups will be holding rallies in favor of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, with crowds expected to reach 38,000. Bernie supporters will descend on Philadelphia in the hopes of swaying super delegates and to draw attention to what they perceive as the flaws in the Democratic primary system. Pro-Bernie demonstrations have been approved from July 24 to July 28 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Black Men for Bernie will also be holding a “We the People Restoration Rally” on July 27 and 28.
The group given the preliminary denial was a Philadelphia organization known as the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. BORDC/DDF is working with leaders to challenge the denial, and the group leadership has reiterated that it intends to march from City Hall to FDR Park regardless of whether or not they eventually receive approval. Their march will focus on how the Democratic Party claims to represent the poor, while not doing enough to combat homelessness, hunger and a low minimum wage.
Cleveland, which is hosting the Republican National Convention from July 18-21, has not only been slow to announce which groups have been given permits, but has also failed to announce weekly which groups have applied for permits. Ohio law requires applications be made public, and the Ohio ACLU has threatened to sue the city if it does not respond to the applications by June 1.
The delay on approvals is most likely caused by the fact that the Secret Service has not yet decided the security perimeter around the Quicken Loans Arena in which the convention will be held.
Names of the eight organizations whose permit applications have been released to the press: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Global Zero, Organize Ohio, The Coalition to March on the RNC and Dump Trump, Citizens for Trump, Trump March RNC, Stand Together Against Trump, People’s Fightback Center