Before dawn a dozen police respond to make sure Occupy Tampa isn't sleeping on sidewalk during the day

10/19/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:


Wednesday morning at least eleven Tampa Police cars responded before dawn to the Occupy Tampa encampment near Curtis Hixon Park. But there was no emergency. Police on the scene wouldn’t talk on tape, but protesters said the dozen or so police were there to make sure demonstrators were not asleep on the sidewalk after 6 a.m.

Last week Police gave protesters a memo implying they won’t be allowed to camp on the sidewalk for much longer, so Thursday Occupy Tampa will ask the Democratic-leaning City Council for a park where they can stay. Wednesday at 7 p.m. Council member Mary Mulhern will speak with Occupy Tampa at their encampment near Curtis Hixon Park.

This week the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee passed a resolution supporting the right of protesters within the city. They appear concerned about demonstrations during next year’s Republican National Convention as well as Occupy Tampa. Even though members run without party affiliation, Mulhern has been associated with the Democratic Party.

Here’s all of our Occupy Tampa news

More photos

This is Occupy Tampa protester Tim Sommers:

This is Occupy Tampa protester Nick Dubyah:

Video of some of the police cars along Ashley Drive:

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I'm confused.....

I'm confused, I pulled up to the light at the intersection of Cass St. and Ashley Dr. this past Monday, at around 2 PM, and saw a man who was laying on the sidewalk next to the Library building. He wasn't holding a sign or anything, he looked to be covered in filth and his pants looked to be wet with urine. To tell you the truth, I don't know if he was sleeping, blacked out or dead. There was another man holding a (non-political) sign a few feet away from him and soliciting change (not social, but monetary) from passing motorists. I live in Tampa and I'm sad to say that this isn't an uncommon sight for me, if you've taken the time to look around it's never been hard to see people sleeping/passed out on public sidewalks, in any number of our area parks, alley ways or even (until recently) large numbers of people sleeping under the alcove of the building with the large mosaic at the corner of Kennedy Blvd. and Franklin St. (the same block as the TPD Headquarters) at night. These people are usually part of Tampa's homeless population (which numbers into the 10's of thousands). It's never seemed like too much of a priority for these people to have been rousted, or arrested, by the TPD. The TPD appears to have a selective method of enforcing the laws. It's kind of like it's up to the individual Officer's discretion on whether or not to bother to enforce the law or not. That being said, I'm confused as to why it's apparently OK for some people to do something but not OK for others. My advice to the Occupy Tampa protesters would be to drop the signs, pick up a bottle of hootch, get smashed and then crash out wherever they feel like it as it seems like they'd have a better chance of NOT being hassled by our local law (giggle) enforcement. Yes, this comment is dripping is sarcasm but there's also a good amount of truth to what I'm saying here. You'd have a hard time convincing me that the Tampa Police Department does not selectively enforce the laws because the evidence that they do is pretty obvious. The next time I see some poor soul passed out on the side of the road I'm going to be tempted to sneak up on them and put an Occupy Tampa sign in their grubby little passed out hands and then call the cops. Somewhere in this rant there's a point. Does anybody get it?


97% of circus chimps polled found the occupy protesters to be hilarious but a bit to odoriferous for their liking.