Occupy the RNC disappointed
As Republicans wrapped their time at the Republican National Convention, protesters, including Occupy, also were ending their time in Tampa. Protesters seemed sad and disappointed at the small turnout, blaming it in part on the fears of Hurricane Issac. “I think the rain really discouraged a lot of people. We lost sixteen buses that were going to come down here”, one occupier named Mike remarked. “I think we’ll have a lot more people in Charlotte.”
They also claimed to be upset that they were unable to have any dialogue with leaders at the RNC. One protester named Lash said, “I love that we have an anarchist forum here, and I really love us, but I hate that our forum can’t even talk with their conservative forum,” he said. “The police just silence us, the Republicans just silence us. We are just getting silenced everywhere we go. It’s like no one wants to even hear what we have to say.”
Occupiers had several marches over the time in Tampa, although they seemed mainly rambling and lacking in direction. At one point, on Monday, as they got stuck in the rain, they had an “Anarchy Dance”.
There were other protesters there as well, including the Dancing Vaginas of Code Pink and Vermin Supreme. Supreme, who is commonly dressed with a rubber boot on his head, runs for President every four years and has promised every voter a pony.
Citizen Journalist noted one protester there appeared to be Nkrumah Tinsley who seems to be one of the Occupiers making a career of traveling to all the various events in different parts of the country. Tinsley was arrested in NYC in November for threatening to “burn [Macy’s] to the ground”. He was charged with a felony terroristic threat. See more on his case here. When asked about Tinsley in November, Occupiers disavowed him. Ed Needham, a spokesman for Occupy, said “We wouldn’t have anything to do with this guy. Certainly everything we do is centered around us being a peaceful and nonviolent movment”. But despite this statement, OWS coughed up $7,500 for his bail. He still seems to be in their company for someone disavowed. Somehow he also manages to have been at at the NATO protest in May.
Since most of the protesters have few funds and are bused in, it would be interesting to find out who is funding the buses and the ability of some of the occupiers to travel.
There was no major incident during the event. Prior to the start of the RNC, there had been bricks and pipes found on a roof of a building tagged with an Anonymous and Occupy graffitii. Two people were also arrested on another roof for carrying weapons including a bb gun and a knife. One man was arrested in the event zone for carrying a machete strapped to his leg. One man was arrested during the event for wearing a mask, which is against the law.