RNC protest groups gather to demand parade permits

TAMPA — Leaders from several groups planning to protest during the Republican National Convention gathered in front of City Hall on Tuesday to demand their parade permits.

The Coalition to March on the RNC, which says it represents 4,000 protestors from different groups, applied for a permit in February and hasn't received an acceptance or denial, said Tom Burke, an organizer who came from Grand Rapids, Mich.

Later, a couple of dozen people gathered in Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park to protest a "Clean Zone" ordinance proposed by Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

In addition to creating a protest area, the ordinance would establish a large zone around the convention in August where weapons except licensed, concealed firearms are banned, and set time limits on parades and marches.

The City Council sent the proposal back to be reworked.

"We will not be caged, because we are not animals," said Jared Hamil of Fight Back Florida.

City officials say the permits will be granted after the council decides the "Clean Zone" issue.

RNC protest groups gather to demand parade permits 04/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:13am]

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