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Day One of the 2012 RNC: March for Our Lives, 8/27/12: video
by Dave Id
Thursday Aug 30th, 2012 5:29 AM
On August 27th, the first day of the Republican National Convention, the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign called for a March For Our Lives to leave Romneyville and head through downtown Tampa in order to highlight economic injustices in America today. Law enforcement authorities, however, decided not to allow the unpermitted march to proceed. The fact that law enforcement chose to come out with such a massive show of force, in full riot gear, contradicted what they had promised beforehand, that their presence would be non-intrusive and that no riot gear would be seen unless there was a serious disruption caused by demonstrators. There was no disruption, or even attempt at disruption. As the number of marchers slowly dwindled to dozens over the next half hour by moving away through Lykes Gaslight Park, conversely the number of police surrounding the remaining marchers continued to grow into the mid-hundreds until finally a torrential downpour sent most of the soaked police and deputies away to their various staging areas. The police action was completely ponderous unless viewed as simply an opportunity, possibly the only opportunity with such low numbers of demonstrators overall at this year's RNC, for officers and deputies to don all of the new gear that $50 million bought them, as an excuse to practice riot suppression drills, and especially for different law enforcement agencies to coordinate as a a single, unified force dressed in matching khaki outfits. With the Poor People's march, led by women and children, serving as guinea pigs for political convention militarization, the issue of economic decency and equality was lost to a police state test run.
(video 6:02)

Speaking first in the video is Cheri Honkola of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and current Green Party candidate for Vice President. Officials questioned about the police action include a high ranking Tampa police officer, who explains the initial presence of riot police as a means to redirect the march down a different street despite the fact that bicycle police had previously been doing the same thing up to that point; a Department of Justice Community Relations Services official, who says that it was police and deputies who made the decision to come out with such an inappropriately large force; and Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn, who declines to comment on the situation and is seen smiling moments later.

Previous coverage

Day One of the 2012 RNC: March for Our Lives, 8/27/12: photos

Day One of the 2012 RNC: Videographers Detained, 8/27/12: photos & video

Day One of the 2012 RNC: March on the RNC, 8/27/12: video

Day One of the 2012 RNC: March on the RNC, 8/27/12: photos

Day One of the 2012 RNC: Welcome to the Ghost Town/Police State of Tampa, 8/27/12: photos

Eve of 2012 RNC: Disruptions and Marches Begin, Convention Delayed Due to Storm, 8/26/12: photos

Lead-Up to 2012 RNC: Anarchists, IEDs, Guy Fawkes, Feces, Drones & a Tampa Police State, 8/25/12: photos

Video - 2012 RNC: Fear Mongering, Undercover Cops, and the Corporate Media
He didn't want to answer any questions about what was happening, though.