The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

Despite mixed feelings about Obama, protesters fight Mitt Romney, the ‘King of the 1%’

By Arun Gupta
August 28, 2012

Politics is an elaborate chess match, and in St, Petersburg one small strike was staged against the Republican National convention on Aug. 26 that revealed the thrust of President Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy.

As panicky Republicans cancelled the first day of the convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, the focus on Sunday was the “RNC Welcome Event” at Tropicana Field. These days no major convention event is complete without a counter-protest, and in downtown St. Petersburg nearly 500 people gathered Sunday to march to the sports stadium and voice their displeasure at what they derided as “the world’s largest  cocktail party .”

Given the spitting rain and gusts, the turnout was better than expected. And given the months of  police and press hype that a mob of mayhem-wreaking anarchists would crash the RNC, the protest rally around Mirror Lake seemed more like a festive Sunday in the park.

A couple of hundred people milled about as Dave Rovics belted out crowd pleasers like “ I’m a Better Anarchist than You .” A handful of buses pulled up and disgorged more protesters who came from far away as Miami, New York city and Wisconsin. The rally and protest was organized by the  Florida Consumer Action Network , a local grassroots organization focused on public policy issues.

Few anarchists were in evidence, apart from a scrum of fidgety black-clad youth who melted into the rally after drawing stares. It felt like an Occupy-related event with a giant puppet of Romney tagged with a “King of the 1%,” and chants of “We are the 99%.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

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