Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Tampa

I almost entitled this post "The Incredibly Shrinking Occupy Tampa" because their numbers appear to be dwindling.

Long shot of the crowd at Occupy Tampa

Two weeks ago they numbered around a hundred people, maybe more, now they seem to number about thirty. They also are a lot quieter and appear to have a lot less energy. They stand along the road holding signs, waiting for people to honk at them.

Occupy Tampa takes to the street

On Friday they had a run-in with the police and over the last two weeks several of them have been arrested. The arrests involved petty things, like arguments over the size of tables and pushing police officers. I saw a sign referencing their troubles, it read "TPD [Tampa Police Department] did this to me". No one was holding it.

"TPD did this to me"

They've been paranoid about the police since I first saw them. Their police run-ins make me wonder what their protest does to hurt corporations. All I see them doing is hurting the City of Tampa.

Here are some of their signs:

Two signs

"Who brought the economy to its knees?"

"We Shall Overcome"

Here's a sticker I saw on a nearby lamppost, advertising their website (not exactly family friendly):

Monopoly card sticker

Even with their reduced numbers they still have someone beating a drum:


I only remember seeing a few of the people I saw today at earlier protests. The guy with a Mohawk wearing shorts in the picture bellow is their security officer. He's not with the police and remembered me. (His name is Chris.)

Occupy Tampa

The guy flashing me a peace-sign in the picture below is the only one them I've seen at all three protests I've been to:

The table

Last time I saw him he was videotaping me for being suspicious, so I'm glad we're cool now. And I have to give him some respect for slogging it out this long. Also for being cute.

I saw no one wearing masks today and no one claiming affiliation with Anonymous.

As I was leaving I took one last shot.

No photography!

The guy in the blue shirt came up to me and started yelling because I took his picture. He threatened to call the police. I didn't apologize and kept repeating that this was a public area (it's a public park). After a bit of this it was like a switch flipped and he shook my hand and walked off. Frankly, I would have felt safer with police around, they don't scare me, people like that guy do.

After this, the Occupy Tampa safety officer (Chris) approached me complaining about the low turn out. I mentioned the weather, he said it might have to do with the local University having events. He also sighted a breakdown between the protesters and the people running their facebook page.

I think people are just tired. The protesters are tired, the City is tired, and so is the media. Maybe a lot of people came to be on TV and now that there are no television cameras, and they might get arrested over something stupid, they don't want to take the risk.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Public Art

This sculpture is across the street from the Occupy Tampa protests:

Big Business

Its title:


How it depicts its subject; robotic, chained to a briefcase:

Chained to a briefcase

And two-faced:

One face

Another face

That's what the City of Tampa put in its financial district.

Found Objects

Rose Snow's Rays Badge

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Saint Pete

Occupy Saint Pete was free of people wearing masks, but one guy did a good job with face-paint (I think!):

The Devil!

The crowd was very small, probably less than a hundred people:

Occupy Saint Pete

The crowd at Occupy Saint Pete

It had its own little sign factory:

Making signs at Occupy Saint Pete

Even a peace-sign sign factory:

Peace sign signs

Most of the signs seemed real, not like the bland, impersonal ones I saw at Occupy Tampa:

"Corporate Greed Is A Weapon of Mass Destruction."

"Corporate Run America"

Street protests

People held them up along the street:

View of crowd and street protests at Occupy Saint Pete

There were poseurs. I saw some of the protesters, wearing cheap clothing, come out of very nice cars. And these two were having their picture taken by friends who looked wealthy:

Poseurs at Occupy Saint Pete

Most people looked genuine though:


Standing around

Lots of them came on bicycles:

Our Government...

"Don't let this happen"


Note the Russian lettering on this jacket:

Ethics/Capitalism and some guy in a jacket with Russian letters

I think the orange armbands meant the media could talk to them, but I saw no media there:

Guy on a bike with an orange armband


And, of course, there were Ron Paul supporters:

Ron Paul Supporters

Occupy Saint Pete seemed positive, if subdued. A big change from Occupy Tampa (post 1, post 2), which seemed paranoid and cult-like. What may help is that this group shows up once a week for a few hours. They don't try to live in the park. Also, they get little media attention and they aren't trying to raise money, like Occupy Tampa, so they aren't absorbing street people and professional protesters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


"Your body deserves the best"

Americans feel guilty.

Is it because they have so much while children in other countries starve to death?


What makes an American guilty, feel spiritually unclean, is doing anything which might cause harm to their own body, might take a few seconds off their own lifespan. If there is even a rumor something they do or use might be unhealthy, an American feels guilt by association. As might someone from another country feel associating with a murderer or criminal.


Enter evos, which according to their menu, offers food, "without the side order of guilt". Several of their items include organic ingredients.

"Organic" means that instead of using the minimum amount of land and resources to grow food, extra space is needed, space that could have been used to grow food for the poor, or to house chipmunks and woodland creatures.

But the menu is printed on recycled paper with vegetable based ink, so that makes everything okay


Americans also feel more spiritually clean if they can spend more money for less. They know that the more money they spend for something the healthier it has to be. And eating things which are healthy makes them feel less guilty. This cost about ten dollars:

evos meal

It came with naturally flavored ketchup (they call it "ketchup karma") and sea salt--because regular table salt is too inexpensive to be any good.

evos salt and pepper

Note the food options that spiritual clean people can choose from:

evos sandwich options

And here is what all the fuss was about:

evos cheeseburger

I was afraid I might choke on the moral superiority.