Hi, y’all.

Protester holds up a sign in front of homophobic Republicans: "Fuck these guys."

Photo: @HeatherB102

Kevin’s asked me to stop over from myFDL to create a liveblog of direct action and protest at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida today.

Despite the weather & heavy police presence, actions have already begun there with banner drops, marches, and a late night dance party for freedom in the streets in the first days of protest. Two Occupy-style encampments are in place on private land to support occupiers and other activists, including the original unevicted Occupy Tampa camp and a new one called Camp Romneyville. Though under pressure from the city of Tampa, both camps appear as if they will stay for the duration. In addition to the live updates I’ll share a few highlights from previous days.

Some people & hashtags to follow on Twitter:

#OWSRNC #ResistRNC #OccupytheRNC #RNC #OccupyTampa


@Fara1 (Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenix writer)

@Daneyvilla (Danielle Villarreal, Occupy Chicago activist in Tampa, already involved in RNC banner drops against Scott Walker & Koch)



Updates will be placed below, with newest updates at the top. As I gather links from Sundays and Mondays actions, I will add them to the bottom.

10:50pm EST:

Danielle Villarreal reports a banner drop at the highway: GOP 1% Go Home!

On that note… goodnight readers! Thanks for following!

10:20pm EST:

@OccupyEye has gone home, and the protesters are dispersing for the most part, as the delegates have largely gone home. Two marches are scheduled for tomorrow, including one for women’s rights, and then Thursday is Shut Down Bain Capital.

10:00pm EST:

We’re back with the @OccupyEye. As I suspected, a camp full of occupiers can only go so long without wanting to march or act. A group is protesting with “Mr 1%” signs at the site of the Republican National Convention. This has led to lively debates with the Ron Paul supporters and Republicans who are present.

I believe that this kind of encounter of people with people, even if they do not agree, is an important outcome of these kinds of protests.

7:30pm EST:

A massive crowd marching

The March to End Voter Suppression in Ybor City, Florida (Photo: @OccupyTampa)

The march is over and most livestreamers seem to have taken down their feed for the time being. Occupiers and other activists will travel back to their camp sites in Tampa, mostly on foot. The march, which had a permit, grew very large: “three blocks strong” according to @Fara1. There are no other scheduled events tonight, but two days of the convention remain. On Thursday, activists have called for a National Day of Action targeting Bain Capital.

I will continue to monitor for a while tonight to see if there are further developments.

6:55pm EST:

A large marching crowd

The march against voter suppression (Photo: @HeatherB102)

@OccupyEye tells us this march is ‘permitted’ and therefore is not expected to see police resistance. The occupiers initially led the march, but then stood aside so that the voter suppression activists could lead the way in a smooth transition. Despite the police prohibition against masks, Anonymous as well as activists with bandanna-covered faces are present.

Chants include “No human is illegal!” and “Si Se Puede!” Vermin Supreme is along with his bullhorn.

6:40pm EST:

Clowns stand in front of bike cops

Clown Bloc at #OWSRNC (Photo: @HeathB102)

After a lengthy rally, the march against voter suppression is on the move. The march is leaving from a park in a city outside Tampa called Ybor City. The march features instruments of many kinds, chants, signs, and even clowns.

We are still watching @OccupyEye. He missed the Westboro Baptist Church action earlier because he was temporarily detained by police for dropping off protesters from his car.

6:20pm EST:

A huge Mitt Romney puppet: King of the 1&

Photo: @HeatherB102


Via @OccupyEye, we have been enjoying a rally with a very diverse array of speakers, with everyone from rappers to the undocumented to the ACLU. The march is supposed to begin soon. Also, there’s a Mitt puppet.

6:30pm EST:

The march to end voter suppression has begun. Chanting, playing instruments and holding signs the march is on the move.

5:30pm EST:

We are watching @OccupyEye from the Rally to End Voter Suppression.

5:15pm EST:

The feed is down for now. Protesters are en route to the march against Republican efforts at voter suppression.

4:40pm EST:

Livestream courtesy of @StopMotionSolo.

4:30pm EST:

Riot cops

Riot cops protect Westboro Baptist Church (Photo: @515LM)

Occupiers and other activists marched from Camp Romneyville to confront Westboro Baptist Church (a.k.a. God Hate Fags). A line of riot cops from the Sheriffs department, with batons out has intervened. Before they did, I glimpsed a sign WBC was carrying — it featured the Guy Fawkes mask. Yes, Anonymous vs. God Hates Fags. Further proving he is everywhere you want to be, Vermin Supreme is present.

As riot police are on the move, they are using a military-style left-right-left chant.

The march arrives at the Free Speech Zone to confront Westboro Baptist Church (Photo: @515LM)

4:00pm EST: 

Huffington Postreports that CODEPINK were prevented from entering an event with the intention of arresting Condoleeza Rice for war crimes.

3:40pm EST:

Banner: Greed Isn't Green

Activists March from the Really Really Free Market to Camp Romneyville (Photo: @OccupyTampa)

The Really Really Free Market has ended and activists marched back to Camp Romneyville, one of the two encampments at the site. @OccupyRNC is tweeting pictures of undercover vehicles which they claim are Department of Homeland Security awaiting tonight’s March on the RNC.

I have also received reports on Twitter of a march against Westboro Baptist Church.

Although one journalist has been livestreaming inside the convention, as of this time I’m unable to find any livestreams among the protesters.

1:50pm EST: 

The local NLG phone number for RNC protesters is 813-241-0101. Anyone reading this who is planning to protest in Tampa should write it on their arm.

12:00pm EST: 

A Food Not Bombs Meal on a Paper Plate

Hungry? #FoodNotBombs feeds the Tampa protesters (Image: @OccupyRNC)

Food Not Bombs has fed a meal to protesters at one of the encampments in Tampa. Scheduled to begin now (at noon eastern time) is the Really Really Free Market, a exchange of goods and services offered as protest against capitalism. This is taking place at Voice of Freedom Park.

A march against voter suppression is scheduled for 5pm Eastern. It will begin at Centennial Park, 1800 E. 8th Ave, Tampa.

Although these two events are public, smaller, autonomous actions which are not being publicized could occur at any time during the day (as they have during previous days).


Lego stormtroopers and Tampa stormtroopers compared side by side

Look familiar? Imperial Stormtroopers and police state stormtroopers in Tampa (@OccupyTampa)

The Nation reports that about 200 protesters rallied outside Bain Capital owned mega-restaurant brand Bloomin’ Brands and shares this video:

Women in Vagina Costumes

CodePink Represents Vaginas on Monday (Photo: @HeatherB102)

Marco Rubio’s fundraising breakfast was interrupted this morning by protesters, but the small group was quickly shouted down. Effective mic checks against an audience this hostile require larger or more distributed or just plain louder groups.

Chris Faraone, author of the excellent 99 Nights With the 99 Percent shared a photoset of Monday at RNC 2012, including photos from the late night street party.

And Danielle Villarreal of Occupy Chicago shared this video of a banner drop at an appearance by Scott Walker. As activists reveal messages against Walker’s attacks on working families and his ties to Koch industries, the patriotic crowd of Republicans is inspired to chant “USA! USA!”