TAMPA, Fla. — Anarchists descended on the site of the Republican National Convention on Monday and their anger, directed at both sides of the political aisle, compensated for their small turnout.
So-called “black bloc” anarchists marched mostly peacefully, with far greater numbers of police, Secret Service agents and uniformed National Guard troops keeping the peace.
Secret Service sources told The Daily Caller that law enforcement preparations called for the ability to respond to crowds of more than 2,000 activists, although no one expected more than 500.
The actual number gathered inside the convention’s security perimeter Monday was closer to 150, according to eyewitnesses.
“We all know the weather has affected the turnout of this march,” organizer Mick Kelly told Politico. “We have a turnout that’s a little bit lower, okay, a lot lower, than we were expecting.”
Slogans rang out through the air, addressing some protesters’ discontent with the nation’s unemployment levels and the cost of college tuition. Others complained of the Republicans’ so-called “war on women.” (RELATED: Dispatches from Tampa: RNC in photos, Day 1 [SLIDESHOW])
The Associated Pres reported that organizers from labor unions, Students for a Democratic Society, Veterans for Peace, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Occupy Wall Street, Code Pink and dozens of smaller groups sent representatives.
One protester was arrested, according to the AP report, “when he refused to take off a banana [sic] covering his face.”
Photography by Grae Stafford