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.
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.
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:
Here's a sticker I saw on a nearby lamppost, advertising their website (not exactly family friendly):
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.)
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:
I saw no one wearing masks today and no one claiming affiliation with Anonymous.
As I was leaving I took one last shot.
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.