The city of Cleveland has already cleared extra space in the jails, courts, and shut down a local university to house thousands of riot police and military weaponry as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warn of "radical activists" and threats against the lives of police at the Republican Convention.
Over 1,700 riot police armed with crowd suppression weaponry are in place to respond to an expected outbreak of violence at the RNC convention which will play host to Donald Trump officially becoming the Republican Party’s standard bearer but also a whole host of other terrors including violent skinheads tied to stabbing attacks in Sacramento squared up against heavily armed New Black Panther Party activists.
The FBI has also taken to personally contacting civil rights activists associated with the nonviolent movement against police brutality – Black Lives Matter – to warn them that they should not show up to the convention.
"I think the FBI should be more concerned with investigating and dissuading the known white supremacists and people with ties to known terrorist organizations from attending the convention, versus trying to intimidate people who are speaking out against injustice," said Samuel Sinyangwe, a civil rights activist contacted by the FBI, to the Independent.
To complicate matters further, Ohio is an "open carry" law state which has led activists in both the white supremacist and New Black Panther Party camps to pledge that they will come armed with assault rifles meaning that the city’s police will be forced to try to contain thousands of rioters armed for an invasion.
State legislator Nina Turner explained the situation succinctly saying that she is "nervous as hell" and noting that the Republican Convention was always going to be a "powder keg" in light of racially offensive statements by nominee Donald Trump referring to Mexicans as murderers and rapists and suggesting that the country institute an immediate ban on all Muslims.
Police worry about unintentionally shooting an activist should chaos ensue with a member of the Cleveland City Council, Brian Kazy, telling the New York Times that, "If you had some mass confusion, even if you had a civilian who was carrying who would attempt to help out, I think the mentality of any law enforcement officer who would see an individual with a gun, would see an individual possibly shoot and would react to that."
The City of Cleveland itself will also be open season to rioters and looters with the police forced to dedicate 500 of its 1,500 police officers to the convention itself although there are some plans for the Cleveland police to receive back-up from neighboring jurisdictions in the event that a crisis unfolds.
Cleveland is preparing not only for heavily armed New Black Panthers, categorized as a black nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center or Sacramento-based White Supremacists armed with guns and knives looking for a fight, but also activists of all stripes including a 20,000 person Bikers for Trump group planning to descend on the city to "protect Trump supporters."
"We’re not looking for a fight, but at the same time, if someone starts one, we won’t back down," said Bikers for Trump Founder Chris Cox to the Daily Beast.
Another group, known as Citizens for Trump, is comparatively mild mannered and will aim to keep “Big” Jim Williams of the Bikers for Trump group from giving the "third world thugs" too hard a time.
Speaking on the dangers that await Donald Trump, attendees of the Republican Convention, and the city of Cleveland itself, FBI Director James Comey said, "It’s a threat we’re watching very, very carefully.