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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Video: Uhuru protest briefly shuts down St. Petersburg City Hall



In the midst of a zoning presentation Thursday, a slumbering City Council chamber jolted to life as a group interrupted the meeting to protest a city-planned replacement for a mural that was ripped down nearly 50 years ago by the group's leader.

About a dozen members of the International People's Democratic People's Uhuru Movement  stood in unison and chanted slogans before being removed by security.

A backpack left on the floor after they were removed prompted authorities to clear the chamber and then the building while a police K-9 unit swept the chambers.

Outside, the Uhurus took the opportunity to chant again against what they called a racist City Hall, police department and white power structure. They left chanting: "Tear this m----------- down."

After about 20 minutes, the meeting started back up. 

The Public Arts Commission was vetting plans to replace the mural with one that would be more reflective of the city's inclusivity.

The mural torn down by Omali Yeshitela, the Uhuru leader, in 1966 depicted black troubadours entertaining white beachgoers. 


[Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 4:46pm]


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