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  1. Florida Politics

Police food donation has protesters eating their words

Published Aug. 30, 2012

TAMPA — It was a truce of sorts, delivered between two slices of bread.

Food: from Tampa police officers to hungry protesters camping out at Romneyville, the unofficial headquarters of the many activists who gathered to protest the Republican National Convention this week.

"I give them the most props of any police agency we've seen," said 28-year-old Brendan Hunt of Occupy Wall Street.

The boxed lunches — sandwiches, fruit and ice cold bottled water — came after police heard that protesters were getting low on provisions. It didn't help that the big blue school bus-turned-kitchen that had been parked at Romneyville all week left for New Orleans this morning, to help hungry people there.

So, in their telltale khaki, the Tampa officers who have had several tense moments with protesters during the week showed up to help.

One by one, they unloaded more than 100 lunches to the beleaguered camp. People posted photos on Twitter, incredulous. They said, "Thank you."

"The police went out of their way to not only be civil, but to be welcoming," Hunt said.

It had Romneyville organizer Bruce Wright, who earlier this week griped about police coming too near the privately owned camp, eating his words.

"Ironically," Wright said, "today it was the police who came to our rescue."

Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com. Kim Wilmath can be reached at kwilmath@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3337.

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