Cleveland preps for protests on eve of Republican confab

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CLEVELAND, Ohio: Host city Cleveland insists it is prepared for the Republican National Convention, but on the eve of its biggest political moment in decades, it is bracing for protests that may well disrupt proceedings. Several organized events opposed to Donald Trump, the brash billionaire set to become the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, will take place Sunday even as authorities drape a heavy security blanket over the city of 400,000 people. Thousands of police from Ohio and dozens of other jurisdictions across the country, including federal officers and agents, will be in place for the July 18-21 convention. But their presence was already felt on Saturday. Eight-foot (2.5-meter) tall fencing was erected around the Quicken Loans Arena, forming a hard buffer between the convention site and the public. Several roads were already closed off, while others are lined with concrete barriers. Helicopters patrolled above the city, their side doors open so security forces could better scan for disruptions below.

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