As the Republican National Convention draws closer, protesters with Occupy Wall Street and notable activist organizations on the left are continuing to organize and are encouraging others to travel to Tampa to join them. OccupyWallSt.org posted a message Thursday from the Coalition to March on the RNC, calling for solidarity – it reads, in part:
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.
The Coalition to March on the RNC describes itself as “a coalition of community groups, students, working families, and people across the country organizing to protest the attacks on the 99% by the Republican Party.” One of its organizers is Mick Kelly, a prominent anti-war activist and one of the organizers of a violence-riddled protest at the 2008 RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kelly was also one of six subjects of an FBI raid in 2010 in a separate incident pertaining to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a group he founded, in which an arrest warrant sought evidence “that Kelly provided, attempted, or conspired to provide "material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations."
September 17th will mark the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. With camps across the country having been disassembled and numerous arrests having marred the movement, protesters - and their political allies - are eager to build its momentum again before the arrival of the November elections.
But reports of potential violence could further blemish the Occupy image as it continues struggling to portray itself as a “peaceful, non-violent movement of the 99%.”
On Wednesday, a bulletin jointly issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned that groups of anarchists could be planning to blockade bridges, shut down local transit systems and employ the use of molotov cocktails or acid-filled eggs to disrupt the convention and local infrastructure in and around the Tampa area. Tampa police reported on Tuesday the confiscation of dubious materials – including pipes, bricks and other suspicious items – from a building rooftop near the vicinity of the convention site.
Such reports don’t seem to be hindering the efforts of Occupy organizers, as they plan for thousands to descend upon Tampa during the upcoming week, with the support of hundreds of prominent staple organizations of the institutional left.
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.
Business Insider reports that protesters are already on the scene in Tampa.
Members of the movement tell Business Insider that hundreds of protestors are already camped out near the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the RNC will be held, in a spot they've dubbed 'Romneyville'.
Tampa's city council has already ruled not to evict them from the area, and Occupiers say chartered buses will bring hundreds more to join them over the weekend. Another camp is being set up in Freedom Park, also near the Forum.
And some of the groups’ events schedule is packed with an eclectic mix of rallies, marches and parties. These include:
- March on the RNC
- March For Our Lives, by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (see note below)
- Voter Suppression Rally
- “Shut Down Bain Capital” Day of Action
- Roving Radical Dance Party
- "Let Them Eat Cake Drum Circle Dance Party" in “Romneyville”, and
- a day of action “to expose and confront the ecocidal elite”
It is worth noting that Romneyville is a camp established outside of the security perimeters near the RNC in Tampa. It is operated by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, an organization we mentioned earlier this week at Breitbart News in a post titled “RNC: Hints of Violence as Law Enforcement Prepares for Tampa,” which covered the activities of Tampa Bay Action Group, a member group of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.
The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign describes itself as “a movement that unites the poor across color lines.” In 2008, the group organized and led the historic Poor People’s March at the RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign was associated with a non-permitted march in NYC in August of 2004, during which protesters attacked a police detective and kicked him in the head, leaving the man unconscious, according to the NY Daily News. Cheri Honkala, the 2012 VP nominee for the Green Party and former Green Party candidate for Philadelphia Sheriff, is the organization’s co-founder. Honkala and her organization have also been active with the Occupy DC and October2011 groups, among others, and will be leading the “March for Our Lives” event at the RNC in Tampa on August 27th, along with Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein.
It would appear that the groups and individuals associated with the protest activities planned at the RNC are as eclectic as the activities they’ve planned.
To view a complete list of organizations endorsing the March on the RNC, visit the Endorsing Organizations page of the event’s website.