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

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid