At the 2004 convention, tens of thousands of anti-war protestors descended on New York city to harrass the GOP convention. In 2008, there were thousands of anarchists, anti-war, and Code Pink demonstrators who were kept far away from the St. Paul convention center.
And Tampa, 2012? Where are they?
Tampa police say patience paid off as a cat-and-mouse game with protesters failed to result in a single arrest outside the Republican National Convention Wednesday night.
The band of less than 100 "Occupy"-style protesters tried to taunt police officers by dangling bagels and donuts at the end of fishing poles. "I guess they thought that was funny," said Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor outside a downtown hotel, where she dealt with the protesters personally. The protesters took over intersections and refused to move for more than 15 minutes -- until getting up and asking police for directions to their next protest site.
So far, only three people have been arrested in RNC-related protests, including one suspected of a protester-on-protester attack at an encampment. It's been so uneventful that the police chief has canceled several news conferences on protests because of a lack of news.
Protest signs contained the message "Mr. 1%" beside a picture of "Rich Uncle" Pennybags, the Monopoly board game mascot, and protesters chanted anti-corporate slogans. The protest ended up and then dispersed shortly after Rep. Paul Ryan finished speaking a few blocks away.
There have been a few Code Pink protestors running around dressed up in what they say are costumes representing female genitalia. A few dozen Occupy protestors found their way to Tampa. But you'd think that the left could do better than this.
Actually, it's quite refreshing not having to read or watch the drummers or chanters, the ill-made puppets, incoherent signage, and the street theater (no "die-ins?). Then again, I sort of miss the fact that in the old days, convention goers would dress up in funny costumes and wear funny hats so it's disappointing that the protestors aren't more numerous. Today, they're the ones dressed up in funny clothes - like refugees from the 60's.