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Exclusive: Homeless in Tampa See Racism, Classism in Occupiers Protesting RNC

Exclusive: Homeless in Tampa See Racism, Classism in Occupiers Protesting RNC

For Occupiers protesting the Republican National Convention, some within their ranks are too poor to be part of the 99%.

In “Romneyville,” the protester welcoming camp in Tampa, Florida, residents spoke about dissension within the Occupy movement. Interviewees said Romneyville was not an Occupy camp but rather a “poor people’s camp.” 

Romneyville primarily shelters homeless people who have been kicked out of Occupy Tampa because of their homelessness. The residents claimed Occupiers excluded the homeless and truly poor while privately admitting they could ask their parents for “five-figure checks” if need be. Further, interviewees emphasized their belief that the “young white anarchists” of Occupy have a tinge of subliminal racism.

The name “Romneyville” finds its origin in the “Hoovervilles” of the Great Depression — homeless camps named to place the blame for their destitution on President Herbert Hoover. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not set any national policy prior to or since 2008’s economic downturn.

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