Chanting "Hey, ho, the clean zone ordinance has got to go," a group of 28 protesters unhappy about Mayor Bob Buckhorn's "Clean Zone" rules on dissenting at the Republican National Convention marched from Joe Chillura Park to City Hall in downtown Tampa Tuesday night.
Following them closely were five Tampa Police department officials, who stood at various parts of the park as a series of speakers blasted the fact that the Buckhorn administration has slow-walked their request for a permit for the first night of the convention, as well as their general disgust with the proposed ordinance on protesting that met with opposition from several members of the City Council last week (city officials say they are waiting until the ordinance with the clean zone is passed before issuing such permits).
Three hours earlier, several of those same protesters held a news conference outside City Hall. Michigan activist Tom Burke called on the mayor to "stop stalling and proposing things that are attempts to repress our democratic rights," saying that "we will march, with or without permits."
Burke is with the group March on the RNC, and said he expects a minimum of 4,000 activists to be in the streets the week of the convention. "While they're holding their circus inside (the Tampa Bay Times Forum), we will be sending a different message outside demanding a just society without a war in Afghanistan, demanding that houses stop being foreclosed upon, " he said Tuesday afternoon.