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Courts / Law

Tampa Mayor Wants "Clean Zone" Around GOP Convention

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Just in time for the Republican National Convention in August...TampaMayor Bob Buckhorn is proposing a so-called "Clean Zone" in the area surrounding the the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Buckhorn says he's just trying to keep everyone safe during the convention.No weapons would be allowed in the zone, and protests involving 50 people or more would require a permit.

Protesters would be encouraged to stay in an enclosed "public viewing area" which would be within sight of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

And those protesters would have to keep things short - one hour or less.That's a problem for the president of the Florida ACLU Board, Mike Pheneger:

"If you have 1,000 people or more who would like to demonstrate, trying to pack that all into 60 minutes and manage it just seems unreasonable and unnecessary," he says.

The ACLU plans to ask the Tampa City Council to amend that part of the proposal before they pass it. If approved, it would last from August 27th to September 1st.

City officials say one reason for the time limit is the heat. They're worried about heat stroke among heavily-armored police officers guarding protests.