Tax Day protest may get blamed for I-4 crash

04/15/13 Janelle Irwin
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A traffic accident early this morning may get blamed on a demonstration on U.S. 301 over I-4 may. Tax day protesters lined the overpass with light up signs demonizing big corporations for not paying their fair share of taxes.

Back-lit posters spelled out the words ‘U paid more taxes than Verizon.’ The group of a dozen activists wanted to send a message to people on their Monday morning commute to work that wealthy corporations exploit tax loopholes. Just as activists were about to switch from Verizon to Bank of America the loud boom of cars colliding and flipping stopped the group dead in their tracks. Occupy Tampa’s Nathan Schwartz immediately started speculating that the crash could spell trouble for future Tampa Light Brigade actions.

“It could, basically trigger a debate as to whether or not we should be doing what we’re doing. I don’t think it’s our fault. I think that there’s a lot of lights, there’s busy things on the road and it’s on people to watch and make sure that they’re not – don’t look at our signs if you’re going to get in an accident. Just be careful and we don’t want to cause anything like that and I don’t think it’s really on us. I hope they’re OK though.”

The group contemplated packing up their stacks and stacks of signs in anticipation of police arriving. They opted to continue the demonstration, but loaded up as much of their materials as they could in case officers broke up the protest.

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Let's see how quickly the City of Tampa tries to limit these protestors' free speech. Proposal on the agenda by...June 1?

I was one of the protesters helping this a.m. Driving is a privilege and not a granted right. You must take responsibility on driving your vehicle. There are more distractions than one can count out on the roadways. We are exercising our 1st amendment rights just like every other piece of signage you see on the roadways. Some other media outlets, and powers that be will wrongfully try to blame us. They can try to have good luck with that.

It's highly ironic that a group that seeking more government regulation, fails to get a permit to display a lighted sign over a busy roadway. Ironic that everyone ran away as well AFTER THE CRASH. I'm glad everyone had some guilt at least. It could have been your family member. Most people driving to work at this hour of the day are just trying to make a living and support their families. You remember, "the early bus"?. How about we throw a deer in front of your car as you are driving? You're supposed to be aware, remember? I'm a supporter of the ACLU and this station as well. This is upsetting! Use some common sense.

I-4 driver, Last I heard, you don't need a permit to exercise your rights. Keep up the good work TLB.

no permit is needed to stand on a is not bad behavior to demonstrate in public against criminal activity.the police have asked us to leave before, but it is our right not to.resistance is fertile.

The people have so very few ways to have their voices heard. This is a first amendment issue. There are numerous more distracting corporate and government signs on I-4. Keep up the good work Tampa Light Brigade...