If you believe local news reports, anarchists will be descending on Tampa during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in order to wreak havoc, chaos, and catastrophe. And the police are planning accordingly. I have no supporting evidence for or against these assertions, but I have yet to run into any such anarchists.
My favorite permit-applicant so far is a couple that wants to create Morning In America, a huge ice sculpture in the form of the words "MIDDLE CLASS". In Florida's August heat, the middle class ice would melt, reflecting the actual reality of a middle class that is disappearing. The Organizers for the Coalition to March on the RNC related some of their idealism. The Florida Consumer Action Network, Rainbow Push Coalition, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Students Working For Equal Rights are putting on a Rally Against Voter Suppression at the RNC. The Patients Over Politics Bus Tour organized by Doctors of America will commence with a march into Tampa on the eve of the Convention. Pray Tampa Bay wants to build a house of prayer over the RNC by hosting a non-political, non-partisan 24/7 prayer. The (Ron) Paul Festival will be taking over the Florida State Fairgrounds for three days of music, entertainment, and activism leading up to the RNC.
Some folks equate Ron Paul and libertarians with anarchists (e.g. libertarianism is just anarchy for rich people) . I think there is more simplistic thinking than truth to such a comparison. And I doubt those are the anarchists that the local media and the police are worrying about. If the last nine months are any indication, they are probably targeting journalists and Occupy protesters. I attended the second Tampa Bay Regional Occupy General Assembly in St. Petersburg on June 16, during which there was lots of discussion about RNC protest tactics, but I heard no one claiming to be an anarchist. Here are some snippets from the many creative ideas floating around during the peaceful afternoon gathering.
If you will be attending the RNC, consider joining the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) online on July 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for a free know-your-rights webinar, 2012 RNC in Tampa: What You Need to Know. They will discuss the rights of demonstrators and photographers, the permitting process and other rules and restrictions passed for the event, and take questions from the audience.