Occupy Tampa holds its third protest in downtown's Gaslight Park

10/06/11 Alessandra Da Pra
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An eclectic group of about 250 people from across the Tampa Bay Area and beyond are flocking to Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa today. It’s the third Occupy Tampa event to protest corporate greed, job layoffs, and wars. The grassroots local movement was born in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

Seventy-seven year-old Bobby C. stood behind a sign that read “Fire all congressmen” and distributed flyers against the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. Although he is well-off after retiring from his own business seven years ago, he said that he drove from Palm Harbor because he is worried about the future of his 17 grandkids and 5 great grandchildren.

Others came to voice their discontent with country leaders, such as International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union member Philip Garnett. He was laid off two years ago. Since then, he said, he has been able to work only for two months and his house went foreclosure.

Occupy Tampa organizers encouraged protesters to bring sleeping bags and tents in case they decide to defy police and occupy the park overnight. But Garnett, like many others, did not come prepared.

Buddhist monk Konchok Jangchup Dorje was among the group of students, artists, young professionals, mothers, and unemployed folks who gathered in downtown Tampa. He also participated in last Saturday’s Occupy Tampa protest.

Tim Heberlein is an organizer with the Florida Consumer Action Network and joined the protest because he would like power to shift into the hands of the people.

Sixty-year old Marvin Shepherd moved to Florida from Ohio after loosing his house and having to sell his business to pay off debts. He though that, if he had to be homeless, he better live in a warm state.

Members of the group Anonymous wore masks and lead a march around the block.

For more information, visit Occupy Tampa.org.

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