TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa City Council has given final approval to creating a designated area around this summer’s Republican National Convention designed to keep protesters in line.

The “Event Zone” ordinance passed Thursday night includes creation of a designated protest area open to everyone, 24 hours a day, near the Tampa Bay Times Forum. That’s where the convention will take place Aug. 27-30. Rules for the overall zone ban a variety of items that could be used as weapons.

The ordinance also will establish an official parade route, but the city has yet to identify the protest area or the parade route. Court cases have established that protesters must be allowed close enough to be seen and heard by those attending the convention.

Officials expect around 15,000 protesters during the convention.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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