TAMPA - There was much talk and even debate prior to the RNC as the city of Tampa tried to do what it thought best to accommodate protesters. The city even set up a protest zone right in front of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. But, for the most part, no one seems to be using it.
Now some might say that should comes as no surprise because the basic idea behind a protester is someone who is not going to conform, someone trying to fight back against the establishment, so why would they use an established zone?
But according to protestors we spoke to, there are definite reasons, and not just an ideology behind why the protest zone for the most part has been empty.
I ran into Jim Bowers on the side of the street beside one of the security entrances into the Forum, well away from the protest zone. He told me he was on the street because that designated area was just too far away. He felt they were being marginalized by being placed in an area where there was hardly any press, and certainly no chance at any interaction with politicians and delegates.
While it is true that the protest zone is right out in front of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, it is also separated by a street, two bars, another street, and then a parking lot.
In addition, anyone going to the convention enters on the sides of the Forum, hardly within earshot of eyeshot of where the protesters would be, if they were actually there.
So protesters said they would continue to do their own thing, with Chuck Kaelin telling me, "We're not going to go in the cage. So we are going to walk around the city to see what we can do."
Wallace Arms added, "Who wants to be in a concentration camp, where no one is going to be able to see you. we want to be out where people are going to be able to see us."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Hernando County Sheriff's detectives are investigating the deaths of two people found in the Chassahowitzka Forest.