Just three months from showtime at the Republican National Convention convening in downtown Tampa August 27-30, Occupy Tampa http://www.occupytampa.orghas been emerging from a hibernation of sorts, at their borrowed patch of land, Voice of Freedom Park in West Tampa.
It’s been a long winter for them, as they have stubbornly held on to what one Occupier with decades of experience in the protest business calls, “The most valuable piece of real estate Occupy Wall Streethttp://www.occupywallstreet.com has access to, indeed the entire Occupy movement.”
Occupy Tampa, after all, has become the epicenter of the protest movement, just asTampa has become the epicenter of the political world for now and the next three months, when the thousands of delegates, dignitaries, journalists and demonstrators and politicians and agitators all meet up here in one huge four day celebration and the pageantry of the democratic process in play, inside and outside the Tampa Bay Times Forum http://www.tampabaytimesforum.com.
And the Occupy Tampa people, who started their occupation of Tampa down at posh Curtis Hixon Park on Ashley Drive way back in September, have forged -and foraged- their way through all of the internal wrangling, and polite and not so polite confrontations with Tampa police and politicians and officials http://www.tampagov.net, from their staked out beach head in West Tampa.
And they have forged and foraged their way through all of the internal wrangling and internal power struggles, and polite and not so polite confrontations with the residents of the West Tampa area, who view the Occupy Tampa Park, and it’s sturdy inhabitants with everything from amusement to casual recognition to downright disdain.
Occupy Tampa’s camp at Voice of Freedom Park in West Tampa is 1300 miles from Zuccotti Park -where this whole business started – located in the heart of Wall Street.
At Harry Ciprani at 55 Wall Street, stockbrokers, bond traders, mortgage bankers and other Masters of the Universe regularly grab a hamburger for $23.00, and maybe a beer to go with it for $9.00.
At the Main Choice Restaurant right on the corner of Main and Howard in West Tampa, you can get a hamburger for three dollars, and right down the street at the station a beer for a buck, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a free shot of tequila to drink with it.
There are no banks in this part of West Tampa. There is a guy under the tree right behind the Texaco station and store who will cash your assistance or pay check on the spot.
And take 25% of it on the spot.
So, yeah, there are some similarities between the two neighborhoods.
In the coming weeks, the Occupy Tampa people will be pruning and cleaning and getting rid of some things, just like the City of Tampa is pruning and cleaning and getting rid of some things.
All the better to prepare for the day of the big dance party in downtown Tampa come August.
What Major League Baseball calls “The Show.”
Stay tuned. Examiner will be there and here every step of the way on the road to the RNC.