RNC Protesters Pleased With Police Reaction
Many of the protesters who came out on Monday say they were pleased with the Tampa Police
The Tampa Police Department kept its word on Monday and did not interfere with protests groups as they marched through downtown Tampa.
While the protesters often shouted at police as officers lined the streets boxing them into a designated route, the march finished incident free. Groups identified as "black bloc" groups attempted to break out of the police guarded areas at one point, but were unsuccessful and eventually moved peacefully north out of downtown.
"I think they're keeping their word," Bill Lewis of Occupy Boston said. "So far I'd have to say that the police have been nice and are doing exactly what Chief (Jane) Castor said they would. I haven't seen any signs of indecency."
Retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant John Debus marched with the protesters and was also pleased to the actions of police, although he thought their display of man power was a bit accessive.
"I'm happy to see that they're peaceful and not being aggressive," Debus said. "I think they may have overdone it a little bit on the personnel but at least they are sticking to their word and not disrupting the protests in any way."
His fellow marchers agreed with him, one shouting "there are more of you than us," to the police.
Today will likely be the first of many protests during the week, but the number of participants was much lower than aniticpated. Numbering in the hundreds instead of the thousands, organizers blamed the weather.
Local residents took to the streets as well to watch as much they did to participate. South Tampa's Tom Hart rode his bike into downtown and followed the march, partially to show his support and partially just to watch and take photos.
"It would be nice if it was ten times larger," Hart said. "It ain't no Gasparilla. I just came down cause I'm curious and because I don't agree with the Republican platform. It's entertaining any way you look at it."