Protesters gather outside GOP debate

11/28/07 Robert Lorei
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An interview with Samm Simpson, one of the organizers of a rally going on this afternoon from 2 to 10 p.m. in downtown St. Petersburg.

“Rise Up! The System is Broken” Unity Rally bills itself as a demonstration where hundreds-to-thousands of like-minded Floridians will set aside political differences and peacefully assemble to protest a broken political process and the policies it produces.

According to organizers, the day’s festivities include voter registration, a free presidential straw poll where every candidate counts, abundant networking and education opportunities and a press conference featuring speakers from endorsing groups.

The Unity March begins at 6 p.m. just before the CNN cameras start to roll inside the Mahaffey Theater, the site of the St. Petersburg Republican Presidential Debate.

Organizers say groups endorsing the rally include: Florida Consumer Action Network, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Democratic Executive Committees, Florida's Progressive Democrats of America, Ron Paul for President Florida Meet Ups, Various Chapters of Code Pink and Veterans For Peace, Tampa Bay Democracy for America, Florida Peace Action Network, Florida's Military Families Speak Out, Florida Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Dennis Kucinich for President FL Grassroots, Mike Gravel for President FL Grassroots and other issues related groups and clergy.

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