The coming Tempest in Tampa
By now its old hat. Every four years the Republicans gather to formally nominate their candidate for president of the United States and every four years large scale street demonstrations vacillate between hippy parades of clever marching puppets and black clad anarchists lighting fires in the road and smashing bank windows. Throw into this mix the beefy riot squads of robocops bashing heads, spraying tear gas from industrial hoses, blasting sonic weapons and tossing noise and flash grenades into crowds and you’ve got a classic election year party. Its theater via politics, revolution and the status quo. Its passion and violence, and for all that can be said in disgust of this dance it beats the hell out the timid consumerist and soul freezing discourse our culture has come to deem civil.
This year’s RNC in Tampa Bay, Florida should be no different—save there is a hurricane the size of Texas barreling down on the event. Just a few days ago Tampa police chief Jane Castor announced that the city confiscated pipes, bricks and other “suspicious” projectiles found on the roof of a downtown building near the site of the Republican Convention.
“It is disconcerting but it’s not surprising,” she told the Washington Post. “This is normally how things proceed leading up to a large event.”
Tampa police, Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Coast Guard, and private security firms have been preparing for the event for two years. Cops from all over the U.S., those with crowd control and specialized riot training, f are now present or are on their way to Tampa.
Both the FBI and Homeland Security issued warnings this week that “anarchist extremists” may have plans to sabotage bay area bridges during the convention, noting that before the 2008 RNC in St. Paul/Minneapolis, anarchists discussed blocking bridges and taking over a radio station.
The Coast Guard has announced that it will impose a round the clock ban…
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