Jail for anti-Romney protesters?

This video from the USA is called Occupy Tampa protests at Mitt Romney rally in Dunedin, FL 1-30-12.

From Think Progress in the USA:

Tampa Authorities Empty Jail In Anticipation of Mass Arrests at GOP Convention

Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:54

Thousands of Republicans from around the country will descend upon Tampa, Florida next week for the Republican National Convention, and if recent history is any guide, so too will hundreds of protesters.

To prepare, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee has ordered the Orient Road Jail, a 1,700 bed prison in Tampa, emptied, relocating some inmates to another nearby prison and releasing others on bond. The entire facility has been transformed into a one-stop booking, detention, and bond-issuance center capable of handling large numbers of arrests, which begs the question: will Tampa police keep demonstrators on a short leash?

Sheriff Gee says no, but also indicated in a letter posted on a county website that his department would have very little tolerance for anything more than chanting and holding up signs:

To the agitators and anarchists who want only to bring a dark cloud to this event, let me be clear: criminal activity and civil disturbances will not be tolerated and enforcement actions will be swift.

Four years ago, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota were criticized for their treatment of protesters and reporters covering the RNC, and were even forced to settle in an excessive force lawsuit. And in 2004, police in New York City were found to have been surveilling dozens of protest groups for months leading up to the RNC, even embedding undercover officers within several larger groups.

Tampa Area Republicans terrified of Tea Party, Ryan: here.

Bill Maher: ‘Republicans don’t like it when single women have sex’: here.

As Tampa Bay, Florida, boosts its security for the 2012 Republican National Convention next week, one elusive primate remains at large: the so-called Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay: here.

12 thoughts on “Jail for anti-Romney protesters?

  1. All out! Protest RNC, DNC

    The article below was printed in Workers World newspaper. We urge you to join with Workers World and other forces of resistance to the program of racism, cutbacks, joblessness and war of the two capitalist parties as we march with the Coalition to March on the RNC marchonthernc.org in Tampa, FLA on August 27th and with the Coalition to March on Wall St South wallstsouth.org in Charlotte, NC on Sept 2 at the start of the DNC.

    by Dianne Mathiowetz

    Residents of Tampa Bay, Fla., are about to have their lives disrupted, not by a hurricane but by the heavily scripted exercise in political propaganda that is the Republican National Convention. Starting Aug. 27, roads and bridges will be closed, area businesses and schools shuttered, transportation services altered and heavily armed police will be everywhere. For four days, those who call Tampa Bay home will be excluded from the downtown convention area and subject to police search.

    Tens of millions of dollars have been spent, not to help struggling homeowners or to keep needed public services open, but to purchase high-tech surveillance equipment and the latest in crowd-control weapons. Untold millions are being spent by corporations to wine and dine the delegates and media representatives at high-priced hotels and restaurants. City parks are being reserved for this excess, including one with a 3,000-square-foot tent.

    What the Coalition to March on the RNC labels the “Republican agenda” is expected to bring thousands of workers, students, women, immigrants, seniors — in other words, the 99% — into the streets to demand jobs, health care, education, equality and peace.

    In response to that right to assemble, protest and speak, city leaders and RNC organizers developed a web of new ordinances, restricting the most elementary of free speech and assembly rights and expanding police powers — all the while engaging in a deviousmedia campaign to demonize those who think issues like jobs, health care and education should be top priorities. The same is true in Charlotte, N.C., the site of the Democratic National Convention Sept. 3-6.

    The stated positions of the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket reflect a program designed by the most entrenched reactionary and right-wing elements of Wall Street’s financial and industrial billionaires. In their eyes, the only solution to the malaise that is infecting the capitalist system is to continue to eradicate any social programs that benefit the great majority. “Cut and privatize” are the answers to every demand raised by the people, whether for education, health care, transportation or any other social necessities. Government programs that fulfill human needs are to be sacrificed to ensure high, sustained profits, interest payments to the banks, and military interventions, occupations and bases worldwide.

    The conventions of the two parties representing the interests of the ruling class in the U.S. are, in effect, very elaborate commercials, trying to sell a bill of shoddy goods to a consuming public. The emphasis is on the image, whether cheering audiences, cascading balloons or glitzy videos. Pundits will spend countless hours on the air trying to find something interesting to talk about as they scrutinize the speeches for a nugget of substance. Instead, the “analyses” will focus on presentation, with no one commenting that “the emperor has no clothes.”

    The real talk about issues, how to solve the capitalist crisis that is devastating families across the country and around the world, will be out on the streets of Tampa and later in Charlotte. Unemployed workers; those without health insurance; students overwhelmed by debt; communities of color plagued by racial profiling and police repression; labor, workers, LGBTQ people and the disabled battling regressive legislation; those without homes; and veterans and all who are tired of endless war are challenging the 1%’s vision of the future. The sanctity of profit over people is a discredited answer. The effectiveness of real progressive change through the ballot is being contested by the power of the street.

    The Coalition to March on the RNC has overcome all the obstacles placed in its way to bring together a diverse cross section of people, who actually represent the majority in this country. These organizers have won a permit to march within sight and sound of the Republican Convention and have fashioned a program of speakers totally unlike those who will deliver their canned speeches to a select audience.

    On Monday, Aug. 27, the opening day of the RNC, thousands will start gathering at 10 a.m. in Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1200 N. Orange Ave. The 1.1 mile march to the Protest RNC Square begins at noon. A rally including all those voices excluded from the stage inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum will “speak truth to power” and claim it for themselves.

    Just a few days later, on Sunday, Sept. 2, another march will be taking place in Charlotte. Dubbed the March on Wall Street South — Charlotte has the largest concentration of banks and corporate offices outside of New York City — a coalition demanding people’s power will “lift up the voices of those most impacted by economic crises, war, cutbacks, deportations and foreclosures” during the Democratic National Convention.

    For more information on the two demonstrations, go to marchonthernc.org and wallstsouth.org.


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  3. Dear Supporter of a Just Society,

    One of the reasons I began BuzzFlash 13 years ago, as the first large no-holds-barred progressive site on the web, was my disgust with the corporate mass media. We all know by now the characterization of most White House reporters as transcriptionists, who are paid large salaries to record and print as fact the pronouncements and strategic “anonymous” quotes of political sources.

    That is why Truthout is so vital to keeping the flame of truth burning. And this is why you should donate now.

    The other day, I wrote a commentary on how almost every major corporate media outlet, including The New York Times, reported that Mitt Romney said that he looked over his taxes and found that he paid an average of about 13 percent over the years. The reality is that Romney never mentioned his paying that amount in income taxes. He carefully avoided the two words “income taxes” at every turn, to simply saying he paid 13 percent in “taxes.”

    That raises a host of questions that any reporter worth their salt would pursue. What kind of taxes was he talking about? What was his reported income (it could have been close to zero, theoretically, with lots of tax dodges)? Was he a sole proprietor which meant that he would pay a 7.6 percent Social Security/Medicare tax (half of his reported tax payments), which are not considered income tax? What about property taxes, retail taxes, state taxes, etc.?

    Romney’s statement opened a hole the size that a Mack Truck could ride through. But only BuzzFlash at Truthout and Lawrence O’Donnell appeared to recognize how the mainstream media had again served as passive tools of another politician.


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