As GOP Protests Fizzle, Occupy Movement Turns Attention to DNC

Thursday, 30 Aug 2012 04:24 PM

By Stephen Feller

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From a protester standpoint at the Republican National Convention it appeared at times as if nobody but Ron Paul supporters showed up. That, however, is not the entire story.

Hurricane Isaac, when it was still a tropical storm, scared off many people travelling to Tampa from across the country - including several buses from New York and California.

But a few months ago, the Occupy groups in St. Pete and Tampa got together and decided not to make a show of it here because they already know the Republicans dislike them and don't care what they say.

Occupy St Pete member Lenny Flank said the groups decided against setting up camp here in favor of going to the DNC in Charlotte next week.

"The Republicans already know we hate them, and they hate us," Flank said.

"its a matter of practicality... People think that we're an arm of the Democratic Party. We want to show people that we're not."

Like many people, Flank has heard cross stories of when and where protests are happening, but websites such as Resist-RNC have either fizzled or turned out to be a lot of talk.

With Mitt Romney set to accept the nomination tonight, though, a large march and other activities not connected to Occupy sound like they may come together.

We've heard that before, though, many times this week.

Meanwhile on Thursday, a group of Republican National Convention protesters are blocking a road near a coal power plant about 15 miles from the GOP event.

The protest is at the Big Bend Power Station. At least three people Thursday had attached their arms to posts near the plant.

Live video showed police officers standing guard and several protesters videotaping and taking photographs.

Protest activity at the convention has been light. As of Thursday afternoon, only two people had been arrested.

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