Buckhorn says violence in Chicago supports creation of Tampa's RNC Event Zone

Hamil's group intends to march on the first day of the RNC, August 27. A peaceful march, he stresses.

"We're going to have all sorts of people, ranging from anarchists to moms and dads, retirees. Everybody's here to say no to the Republican agenda. Yes, we're going to have a peaceful march. I don't understand why, but the police like to force people and cage people in certain areas, and some people decide to fight back when they get pushed out, and that's what we saw at NATO [in Chicago]."

The mayor also weighed in on the Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday that showed narrow support for Governor Rick Scott rejecting Buckhorn's request to ban guns in the Event Zone.

Buckhorn said he took solace in the fact that those surveyed nearest Tampa did support his stance.

Florida likes its guns. By a large margin, residents support the extremely controversial Stand Your Ground law that has been in the news this spring in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin killing. Buckhorn says he does not support the law, believing ? as many prosecutors in the state have said ? that the state's Castle Doctrine was more than sufficient to protect those whose lives are thought to be at risk.

Buckhorn also says he has no problems with the deal the City Council approved two years ago that gave the Republican National Host Committee first crack at using city parks for activities during the week of the convention. Buckhorn said he would have voted affirmatively if he'd been on the Council at the time.

Jared Hamil asks why the GOP needs "all of downtown" to get their message across during the RNC.

"This is dirty politics. The city by coming to that decision has allowed the Republican party to block any sort of opposition, block our voice and the voice of anybody who opposes the Republican agenda."

  • Protesters outside the NATO summit in Chicago

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that the violent interactions between police and protesters outside the NATO summit in Chicago prove that he's had the right attitude all along in preparing Tampa police for "anarchists" who could create mayhem at this summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Speaking after a ceremony celebrating recently completed sections of the Tampa Riverwalk, the mayor said that some of those who created tensions with the police in Chicago will be coming to Tampa, and that's why it was incumbent upon the city to create an "Event Zone" in the first place.

One of the activists who was in Chicago and will be protesting in Tampa, Fight Back Florida's Jared Hamil, saw the violent confrontation between protesters and law enforcement officials last Sunday. He says the blame lies with the police.

"The only violence we saw was in the aftermath [of a big rally] when police showed up in riot gear and forced people and shoved people, called people names."

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