University of CA Irvine Professor David Meyer discusses low protestor turnout for Republican National Convention

08/31/12 Lisa Marzilli
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It's being reported that law enforcement outnumbered protestors at this year's Republican National Convention in Tampa by as much as 4 to 1. The most anticipated "March on the RNC" on Monday was expected to draw some 5,000 people but instead drew a few hundred. Weather was definitely a factor as Florida's entire Gulf coast was under a tropical storm warning from Isaac. Others have speculated that the hype associated with the militarization of local law enforcement agencies kept many away.

Only two arrests were linked to protests; one man for carrying a machete, the other for wearing a bandanna in violation of Tampa's "Event Zone" ordinance. That's compared to several hundred in St. Paul, Minn., four years ago. One report noted that “It's been so uneventful that Tampa police chief Jane Castor has canceled several news conferences on protests because of a lack of news”.

To get more insight into why the turnout was so much lower than predicted I spoke with David Meyer, Professor of Sociology & Political Science at the University of California – Irvine. Meyer also blogs at Politics Outdoors.

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