Updated, 8/28: Lots more photos and video added below.
As of noon eastern, the March on the RNC has begun. The corporate media won't report on it, so follow and find livestreams on Twitter: #resistRNC #marchontheRNC #OccupyTheRNC #frnc, @OccupyRNC and @OccupyTampa. The protest will continue throughout the week. Nonviolent direct action marches will take place every day at 10 am as an alternative to the official, barbed-wire enclosed “event zone” (cage) declared by the city and police to keep protesters far away from the eyes of the media, while the wealthy are given lavish parties and the ears of the politicians inside the heavily-guarded walls.
Tomorrow at 5 pm, there will be a Rally and March Against Voter Suppression at Centennial Park (1800 E. 8th Ave, Tampa), and several other actions will be held at various times during the rest of the week, including a pro-labor rally, a rally in support of reproductive rights, and various autonomous/unpermitted marches against capitalism and police brutality. If you are in Tampa and need legal assistance, the number for the NLG is 813-241-0101, or find them online: http://tampa.nlg.org. You can also donate to the Occupy Tampa bail fund here.
Activists including the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, organizers of the Romneyville encampment in Tampa, stopping a foreclosure on Saturday
Video of the March on the RNC
People at Occupy Tampa for the Food Not Bombs World Gathering
Protesters gathered at the HQ of Raytheon, makers of parts for drones
The Earth First! contingent
The city spent tens of millions of dollars on police equipment, including a tank, surveillance drones, and helicopters, with reinforcements from the Dept. of Homeland Security and National Guard
Police in what look like military fatigues following the main march
Protesters were kept far away from the convention and from media by barriers like this one, meaning reporters had to travel long distances to cover the actions or talk to demonstrators
Video of protesters taking on Bain Capital-owned Bloomin' Brands in Tampa
Video of banner drop directed at Scott Walker at Tampa Theatre
Press release from protest group resistRNC to law enforcement:
Those who come to demonstrate at the RNC do not come to confront you. They come to confront:
those who give you your orders, our Elected Officials.
those who give them their orders, the Power Elite.
We, police officers and protesters alike, should be standing together to remind our government that they work for us, the people. That it is WE THE PEOPLE who elect them, and we who give them their orders.
You have been told that we are coming to commit acts of violence and destruction. We are not. We utilize peaceful means to promote peaceful ends and to stand up for justice...social, economic and environmental justice.
You have been told that we are coming to fight the police. We are not. You are being abused right along with us. It is the Power Elite we are after. They are screwing over all of us and laugh at us when we fight one another.
We do not expect you to take our word for it. Hear it from retired Police Captain Ray Lewis on his interview where he can explain it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ndFTALQzlY It's time we stood together. We know who the real enemy is, and its neither you or us. So it's pointless to fight one another.
If you are ordered to assault a non-violent peaceful crowd, we ask you to defy your orders. Stand for justice. It is our sincere hope that you allow the demonstrators to do what they come to do, peacefully protest an unjust system. We stand for justice.
The Republican National Convention is taking place in Tampa starting August 27th. The Coalition to March on the RNC encourages you to join us and stand in solidarity as we march at the RNC to fight back against the political elite and the 1% agenda.
As of now, we are a Coalition uniting groups from around the country to say NO to this political system that only works for the 1% and therefore are marching at the Republican National Convention to let our voices be heard. Together we stand to march for good jobs, healthcare, affordable education, equality and peace. On top of this, we stand against all parties of the 1% and have also endorsed the March on Wall St. South, who will protest the DNC in Charlotte, NC. For too long people have suffered while the rich got richer. We say money for human needs, not on wars overseas and corporate greed. Together, we are planning a 5000 strong march at the first day of the convention on Aug 27th. We have hundreds of national and local organizations such as Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Get EQUAL, Dream defenders, United National Antiwar Coalition, Occupy Tampa, Occupy USF, Occupy Pensacola, Occupy Tallahassee and more (See here for full list) endorsing us and we would love for all Occupy Assemblies to come down to Tampa to join and/or endorse our coalition. Only through unity is there strength.
We will be encouraging people to sleep at Occupy Tampa's Voice of Freedom park or at these parks that allow camping for a nominal fee [Editor's note: Please be aware that a tropical storm system, potentially a hurricane, is expected to effect Tampa during the Convention. The RNC isn't telling people not to go to Florida, so neither are we. But you should check with organizers about alternatives in case of flooding.] We will be rallying at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, located at 1200 N. Orange Ave Tampa, FL, at 10 am and will be marching from the park through the streets of Tampa to "Protest RNC Square" at around noon. See here for the parade route.
Thanks and please e-mail us at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
Bain Capital represents the epitome of crony capitalism and the corrupting influence of money in politics. Romney worked with Salvadoran oligarchs to initially fund the corporation. These same oligarchs financed right-wing death squads that killed over 35,000 Salvadorans, and politically supported the military dictatorships there. This resulted in the death of over 75,000 people.
Bain Capital recently bought the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois. The company was profitable and competitive, but Bain Capital decided to move the plant to China and lay-off all the American workers. To add insult to injury, Bain Capital then brought over Chinese workers and made the soon-to-be-laid-off American workers train their replacements. The American workers had to watch people dismantle their factory and ship it, piece by piece, to China.
Bain Capital bought HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) after HCA settled with various government agencies for over $2 billion dollars due to a massive medicare fraud settlements. HCA seems to have not changed its ways. Recently, whistleblowers have revealed that, under pressure for profits and high returns on investment, HCA doctors misdiagnosed heart conditions and performed unnecessary heart surgeries in order to drive up business at several of its hospitals. After the whistleblowers exposed these dangerous and unnecessary surgeries, HCA fired them.
Earlier this year a Bain Capital subsidiary, OSI (Carabba’s, Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Flemmings, and Roy’s), tried to push a bill through the Florida Legislature that would cut server’s pay in half from $4.65 an hour to $2.13 an hour. Bloomin’ Brands (formerly OSI) made millions this year after a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, all the while advocating to reduce worker’s pay.
In 2010, the DeepHorizon oil rig spilled oil over the entire Gulf Coast. Fish, birds, and other dead animals started washing up on shore. BP had hired Bain Capital to give financial advice on how to cut costs and raise profits. Bain advised BP to make major cuts in safety-related expenses. Regulators cited these very cost-cutting measures as the main cause of the disaster.
Mitt Romney co-founded, served as CEO, and continues to own a major stake in Bain Capital. With the corrupting influence of money in politics, does it really surprise anyone that Romney is running for President?
We will peacefully protest Bain Capital on August 30th which is the day that Mitt Romney will give his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. We will use this opportunity to protest and raise awareness about Bain Capital’s business practices. Hopefully this will pressure Bain Capital to behave ethically.
This statement reached consensus by the Occupy Tampa General Assembly on 8/17/2012.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine
Burlington Coat Factory
Clear Channel Communications
Hospital Corporation of America
Michael’s Craft Store
The Princeton Review
Work ‘N Gear
Occupy Tampa has stood in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street since its inception, and will function as the host occupation for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL on August 27th – 30th, 2012.
Preparations have included: 1) Securing sleeping arrangements for as many occupiers as we can fit in our current encampment. In order to maximize available space to accommodate as many people as possible, we will (2) remove individual tents and replace them with large canopies to offer shade and protection from the weather. (3) Our liaison with Fire Dog Lake, Sonja Ebron, continues to work with Occupy Tampa by securing items such as sunscreen, bug spray, bandanas, portable water containers, sleeping bags and mats, UV protective shirts and other useful items.
Occupy Tampa has formed a Regional General Assembly to coordinate Occupy groups throughout the bay area, including: Occupy Lakeland, Occupy St. Petersburg, Occupy Bradenton, Occupy USF, Occupy New Port Richey, and Occupy Sarasota. We have tried to plan as much as possible ahead of time, but we want to leave space open to spontaneously produce additional actions by harnessing the number of people that arrive.
Food Not Bombs has called a World Gathering and plans to run feeding operations throughout the duration of the RNC. A week before the Republican National Convention, chapters of Food Not Bombs from every corner of the globe will convene in order to prepare to feed the thousands of protesters flooding into the city. FNB will serve brunch everyday at 10 am, at Voice of Freedom Park, and will also serve dinner before the General Assemblies. We will offer warm-ups at 9 am, including yoga & other light exercises.
We invite everyone to come and take advantage of the preparations we have made, to help ensure that all occupiers and other supporting groups can use this moment of national attention to confront the political status-quo.
We currently occupy a privately-owned, publicly accessible park (fittingly named “Voice of Freedom). The owner has donated the space for use by the Occupy Movement. Facilities include: running water, two port-a-potties, parking, Internet access, and electricity.