News / USA

Protesters Converge on Tampa for Republican Convention

Protesters Converge on Tampa for Republican Conventioni
|| 0:00:00
X
Greg Flakus
August 28, 2012 11:14 AM
More than three years after the U.S. economy fell into deep recession, protesters outside the Republican National Convention point to what they call a continuing crisis of unemployment and homelessness. As delegates prepare to nominate Mitt Romney amidst a glitzy three-day party in Tampa, Florida, demonstrators camped out in the heavy rains of a tropical storm. VOA's Greg Flakus reports.
Greg Flakus
TAMPA — More than three years after the U.S. economy fell into deep recession, protesters outside the Republican National Convention point to what they call a continuing crisis of unemployment and homelessness. As delegates prepare to nominate Mitt Romney amidst a glitzy three-day party in Tampa, Florida, demonstrators camped out in the heavy rains of a tropical storm.

So far, protesters marching on downtown Tampa's mostly deserted streets are outnumbered by police and news reporters. Police are telling protesters not to cover their faces or engage in threatening behavior. Though mostly peaceful, some still wear helmets and masks.
 
“It is for our own protection; basically, that is all it really is - to avoid being targeted as an individual,” one protester said.
 
They have come from around the country to camp out in parks and small lots like this rented space which they call “Romneyville.” The name alludes to homeless camps, called “Hoovervilles,” during the Great Depression, named after then-President Herbert Hoover. Camp organizer Bruce Wright says the name is appropriate, given the high unemployment rate and homelessness in the Tampa area.

“We have the same kind of foreclosure crisis today and the people in this camp are a mixture of homeless, formerly homeless, poor people, unemployed people and just different activist groups,” he said.
 
Camp residents have tried to help suffering locals like Thomas Diehl and his companion, Michelle Kelly.

“Right now they are trying to help us get food stamps, medical help for me and her, stuff like that,” Diehl said.

  • Occupy movement members march outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (E. Mazrieva/VOA)
  • Protesters outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (E. Mazrieva/VOA)
  • Protesters outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (E. Mazrieva/VOA)
  • Protesters outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (E. Mazrieva/VOA)
  • A protester with the Occupy Movement marches against the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (N. Pinault/VOA)
  • Security around the Occupy Movement protest outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (N. Pinault/VOA)
  • Protesters outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • A group protesting the Mormon church outside the Republican National Convention, Tampa, Florida, August 28, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)

While many say they are here to protest against Republican Party policies, quite a few express disdain for the political process in general. Alex Ramos is critical of President Barack Obama as well as Mitt Romney.
 
“He made a lot of promises that he has not kept," he said. "He promised to bring troops back home and he sent about 30,000 more overseas. He signed off on NATO to destroy Libya.”

Many here say politics is controlled by large corporations and wealthy donors.

"We have equal criticisms of Obama, okay, we're non-partisan. We're committed to the principal of justice for everyone," Bruce Wright said.  "Both parties are controlled by big money."

Protesters may have little opportunity to be heard by convention delegates.  Security is tight for several blocks around the convention sight and police boats patrol adjacent waterways.  Regardless of the security and the rain stirred up by Tropical Storm Isaac, the protesters say they intend to be here all week to present their view of what's wrong with the country.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid