Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Tampa Protesters Oppose RNC rules Jared Hamil of Coalition to March on RNC Plans 5,000 Man March With Flags on 5-Foot-Long Poles He Expects Violence From Cops, Yeah Right.
TAMPA ..Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s revised rules for protests outside the Republican National Convention won initial City Council approval Thursday even as critics said they would choke the free-speech rights of protesters. "Not much has changed,” said protest organizer Jared Hamil, who is working on plans for a 5,000-person march on Aug. 27, the convention’s first day. "Any ordinance or law that says where protesters need to be and for how long is a direct repression of the voice of the people.”
The clean zone (Combat zone) would include all of downtown and much of the surrounding area for the RNC. The City Council has sent the draft back for a rewrite, the Tampa Bay Times said. Protesters said the zone is too large and its rules are too restrictive. "We will not be caged, because we are not animals," Jared Hamil of Fight Back Florida told the Times. “We expect to lead a peaceful march on Aug. 27,” said Jared Hamil, spokesman for the Coalition to March on the RNC. “The only violence we expect is from the police.”
Not everyone, however, criticized the city’s efforts to keep protests from spiraling out of control. "It’s freedom of speech only, not a free for all,” said Laura D. Zahn of Tampa. She predicted that protesters converging on Tampa could cause millions of dollars in damage. But "we are the ones who will pay for … their staged anarchy and their staged anger.”
In Seattle black-clad May Day (5/1/2012) protesters rampaged through the downtown shopping district, spray-painting cars, slashing tires and smashing plate-glass windows. As a result, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed an emergency order authorizing police to confiscate sticks, tire irons, hammers and potential implements of destruction.
Officials said protesters carried flags and signs on heavy, 5-foot-long poles that they used as weapons to attack stores like Niketown and Starbucks. Council member Harry Cohen also mentioned this week’s news out of Cleveland, where the FBI charged five men in a plot to blow up a bridge on a four-lane highway.
In the months leading up to the arrests, one suspect once mentioned the convention in Tampa during a discussion about possible targets, according to the FBI. "These are not fantasies,” Cohen said. "These are real concerns that our mayor and our law enforcement are going to have to worry about.”
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com