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Preparing for potential protests ahead of Republican National Convention

The arrival of politically charged events can raise concerns over potential protests, particularly next year's Republican National Convention.
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Posted at 8:25 AM, Dec 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-08 09:25:23-05

MILWAUKEE — Nearly 50,000 people are expected to make their way to Milwaukee during next summer's Republican National Convention and joining them are potentially thousands who plan to protest.

“How can people do that effectively? How do their rights get respected in that process?” said Tim Muth.

Tim Muth is a staff attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin.

He says the goal of organizing is to spread your cause and influence change at the top.

“Protesters want to be heard by the delegates, by the candidates, by the public officials who are attending, the media who are going to be covering it,” said Muth.

While protesting has taken many forms over the years, the ACLU says the most important thing people can remember is to know their rights.

“We're going to help them understand what their rights are in interactions with the police or with Secret Service that might happen. We will also probably be helping people understand ways to stay safe,” said Muth.

That includes offering training community-wide to empower people to use their voices safely.

Muth says this came from the work the ACLU did ahead of the Democratic National Convention in 2020 before it was downsized due to the pandemic.

“There are a lot of groups that have guidance for people on how to stay safe when conflicts really develop,” said Muth.

While official plans for designated protest areas and events are still being worked out, Muth says the hope is that people understand that unity matters when sharing a difference of opinion, no matter what side of the aisle you are on.

“Even though these are polarized times, that's not a reason not to go out on the street, if anything, it’s exactly the reason why people need to be out and finding other people in solidarity with their positions,” said Muth.