Sunday, August 26, 2012

#GOP2012 Sunday August 26

Parking has been banned in most of downtown Tampa:

No parking sign

Bus service has also been curtailed:

Local bus service discontinued in some areas

Some people got greedy. This guy was charging $20 to park:

$20 Event Parking

But his lot was empty other than a police car:

Greedy parking lots get no business

I had almost no problems walking around. This sidewalk (I saw people using) was marked as "closed":

"Sidewalk Closed"

And there was one area I was told to leave but had no signage or barriers.

At first there seemed to be tension in the air, the city felt like it was under siege. Some businesses had boarded up their windows:

Boarded windows in Tampa

And posted police notices:

Police Notice

You also saw lots of barriers like this in the road:

One of many closed roads

Or this:

Roads blocked off

And you could hear helicopters buzzing overhead:

Helicopter over Tampa

Police officers were traveling in packs:

Police officers on bikes traveling in packs

They looked bored for the most part, but some were smiling.

After walking around a bit, things seemed a lot more relaxed.

The Salvation Army was everywhere, handing out water:

The Salvation Army is providing water throughout Tampa

But they weren't really handing out water. The streets were empty!

I saw more portable toilets than I ever thought possible:

A huge number of portable toilets have been assembled

All unused.

And a few news crews:

Camera crews are all over Tampa

NBC news crew

I noticed some businesses had decided to play it safe, offing Romney AND Obama merchandise:

Playing it safe

Or welcoming everyone. Protesters, police, press, and politicians:

"Welcome all protesters, police, press and politicians"

Eventually I managed to find some protesters in front of the Sacred Heart Church:

Long view of protesters in front of Sacred Heart Church

There were more police than protesters.

And a lot of people taking pictures:

Taking pictures of protesters at Sacred Heart Church

(The streets were dead, so that counts as "a lot".)

You'll notice in this picture that one guy is carrying a lot of signs:

Close-up of protesters in front of Sacred Heart Church

Why is he carrying signs? Didn't each person make their own sign with something they wanted to say? Nope! They're mass-produced and made to look individual, then handed to random protesters. This is what astroturfing looks like.

And I saw the same thing at the nearby SEIU protest:

Signs at SEIU protest

Fake protesters with fake signs. Only there weren't many protesters. This was the SEIU protest about an hour in (and they had been setting up beforehand):

The SEIU protest in Lykes Gaslight Park

Maybe they should have spent more money on protesters and less money on ice sculptures:

The SEIU paid for an ice sculpture

Oh, and there were about a dozen people on the street corner, a few of which were dressed as vaginas:

Women dressed as vaginas


  1. Outstanding in the rain coverage!

  2. There has got to be something, I'm not sure what but *something*, about demanding respect while dressed like a vagina.

    Something like a man dressed up like Sailor Moon demanding respect.

    Something like that.