Scattered Protests In Tampa As RNC Continues
Protesters were expected to descend on Tampa, including those associated with Occupy Wall Street. But while there have been a handful of demonstrations, others had trouble getting off the ground. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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As delegates made their way into the convention center, protesters searched for like-minded rebel rousers.
"We just came down here by ourselves," said one protester. "We were expecting to see a protest but we haven't found anything yet."
"Yeah, I looked on the Occupy website because I figured that'd be a good place to start," said another. "It said today is World Peace Day and there would be a Planned Parenthood march around 2 (p.m.) but we got here, a little bit late for that. So now we are just looking around to see where everyone's hanging out and we can't really find them."
On Monday, an organized group of demonstrators marched through the streets of Tampa. But the truth is, marches like that one have been few and far between. That is due in part to the hurricane threat, which prevented some would-be protesters from making the trip down to Tampa.
Tight security has also kept a tight lid on things.
"If you see all around you, there is cops everywhere," said one protester. "So the cop presence is also an intimidation factor."
One encampment has been dubbed "Romneyville." It's kind of the central meeting point for protesters who have come down to Tampa for the RNC. But a lot of the people camped out there have actually been there since late May.
But even Romneyville appeared to be a relatively small gathering.
"We had two small demonstrations today," said one protester. "The thing is, though, turnout hasn't been what is expected due to the weather. In some cases, 300 to 500 people have been showing up at our demonstrations, maybe 120 at others. But they have been very vocal, very loud."
And appropriately enough, the Wednesday entertainment in Romneyville was provided by veterans of New York City's Occupy Wall Street movement.