Welcome back. This is day 2 of my liveblog of protests outside (and occasionally inside) the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. This is the second formal day of the convention (Monday’s events were canceled due to Hurricane Isaac) but the third full day of protest.Both continue through Thursday, when Mitt Romney is expected to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for President, and activists have declared a national day of action to Shut Down Bain Capital.
Although autonomous, unscheduled actions may appear at any time during the day, there are two formally announced events I know about today: the Women Are Watching March at 2pm (starting at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 North Boulevard, Tampa) and Welcome to Mitt Romney’s America march through downtown Tampa at 6pm. Last night, I also heard reports of a planned ‘pirate march’ which will attempt to have a playful, festival atmosphere.
Some people & hashtags to follow on Twitter:
@OccupyTampa - the official account for Occupy Tampa
@OccupyRNC – account specifically for this week’s actions
@Fara1 - Chris Faraone, Boston Phoenixwriter
@StopMotionSolo - a livestreamer
@OccupyEye - a livestreamer
@HeatherB102 - a citizen journalist and photographer
Updates will be placed below, with newest updates at the top. As with yesterday’s liveblog, I’ll add any new links I find from events earlier in the week at the bottom.
We’re now watching a feed from Camp Romneyville conducting interviews.
The stream is down again as the rally has ended, but live feeds are expected to return tonight from Ybor City.
After regrouping at Camp Romneyville, the activists there marched to join a labor march and rally. Everyone present is being asked to sign a second ‘bill of rights’ for workers rights. We are now watching @OccupyTampa. More events are planned in Ybor City including another dance party.
The march, which was against racism, has returned to Romneyville where its numbers may grow. We have been watching @FluxRostrum. Right now he is describing the camp which includes a stage with music, and a Rainbow Family bus feeding people from its kitchen. Another march has left & I am looking for a feed from that march.
So far Tampa police are being unexpectedly restrained. A new livestream is up from a small street march. Police have escorted it and at one point were following with a helicopter, but have not made any move to interfere otherwise.
Some activists reported being detained but released, then followed by police after the Planned Parenthood event ended. @Occupy Tampa shared this photo of a drone vehicle, and another of a United Drones truck.
After brief, intense rain the rally has continued. Though many radical activists are present this is a diverse crowd. Most of the speakers are emphasizing the importance of voting for Obama, with few mentions of direct action. We are still watching @OccupyEye.
Hello Isaac! Sudden pouring rain brings speeches at the women’s rights rally to an abrupt halt as activists scramble to cover gear, run under shelter, or put up umbrellas.
We are watching @OccupyEye at the Women Are Watching rally and upcoming march in Tampa. Planned Parenthood is the major sponsor of this action. A talking pack of birth control pills has already been a featured guest.
Did police guidelines for protest specifically target puppets at the Republican National Convention? Alternet has the story:
The city has banned sticks, strings and masks — the basic rudiments of puppeteering — during the convention. Police have been very clear that this was targeted at puppets specifically. Andrea Davis, a spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department, explained the reasoning to the Tampa Bay Times : “Their heads have been used to hide weapons and other matter, fecal matter.”
Really? I have been a puppetista — someone who creates, fabricates and deploys puppets for use in civil resistance — for about 25 years. I have never heard of using a puppet to hide shit — that would be too degrading to the puppet and all the hard work that went into producing it! But, time and time again, I have heard many allegations from authorities that urine or shit was going to be used in some kind of assault — with no factual basis of it ever having been done. This is just one among many examples of how, as David Graeber has eloquently illustrated, police hate puppets .
Of course, a giant Mitt Romney King of the 1% puppet was seen at Tuesday’s events, just as actvists have continued to wear bandannas and Guy Fawkes masks despite bans.
Chris Faraone of the Boston Phoenix published his photoblog of Day 1 of protests, Jokers to the Left of Me, Losers to the Right.
An Indybay report on Day 1 of the RNC by David Id clarifies the position on masks and details a couple early arrests around the convention:
For the record, the two arrests downtown were one on Sunday for alleged possession of a machete, and the other was on Monday, for wearing a mask within the Event Zone. While a fair number of people have been seen with masks in the Event Zone, police say they are not targeting masked persons participating in marches, rather just those masked who may be otherwise walking through downtown. Both the machete and the mask are new crimes in Tampa, thanks to the anti-protest law passed by the city council on May 17th.