Monday, August 27, 2012

RNC protesters target Bank of America

Despite the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac, Sunday was a good day for a protest in downtown Tampa.

The Republican National Convention was not fully underway -- thanks to Isaac, that won't happen until Tuesday -- and there were thousands of journalists looking for a story.

Some couple hundred protesters took advantage with a protest targeting Bank of America:
Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets Sunday to march against what they called corporate greed and to advocate for low-wage workers and an increase in the federal minimum wage. 
The Republican National Convention may have been throw off-schedule by the incoming storm, but demonstrators wasted no time getting started. 
One of Sunday’s first targets: Bank of America Some 200 demonstrators gathered in downtown park for an unscheduled protest. 
After a series of speakers criticized tax cuts for the rich, about half of the group split off and marched across the street to Bank of America plaza. They carried signs and chanted slogans against the “one percent.” 
Several demonstrators -- armed with crayons and stickers -- began pasting and scribbling slogans across the sidewalk and building pillars. One sign read: “You stole our money; we want it back.” 
By the time Leah Rothschild wrote “Protect the People, Not the Banks” a few feet from the front doors, dozens of officers had swarmed in front of the bank using their bikes as shields. 
Assistant Tampa Police Chief John Bennett approached and told the women and other protesters to move off the private property. As demonstrators pulled back, the officers pushed forward, maintaining their line. 
 “Stay behind the bikes,” Bennett repeated again and again -- calmly, but firmly. Once the protesters left, Bennett walked past the bicycle line, repeating “good job” to the officers. 
Bennett said Tampa police are trying to set boundaries for demonstrators. “It’s finding the balance between expressive speech and ... the criminal boundaries,” he said.
What remains to be seen is whether protesters will similarly target BOA next week when Democrats gather for their national convention in Charlotte, N.C. -- the banking giant's headquarters city.

Read the whole story here.

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