Police seemed to outnumber protesters yesterday, as demonstrators were corralled into a small park. This was referred to as the viewing area, and if you had binoculars or a zoom camera, you could indeed see the convention center–through the multiple fences and roadblocks of course.
Many Ron Paul supporters were out in full force protesting stolen delegates which they claim were stripped from Ron Paul based on rule changes by the Republican National Committee. There were others protesters as well, some environmental, some Occupy types, some Anti-war protesters, and even the Westboro Baptist Church. The presence of the Westboro Baptists was seen by many Ron Paul supporters as a distraction from the real issues at hand–mainly the disservice done to Ron Paul and his ideas by the media and the Republican establishment.
A documentary crew filming a series called “Messengers For Liberty” was also present gathering footage. The founder of the organization, James Denham, can be seen in the video posted here, promoting his documentary on the erosion of liberty in America. He also has a website called MessengersforLiberty.com and the next installment of the documentary series is set to come out September 17th.
Every Ron Paul supporter I talked to seemed quite articulate about the message they want to get across. Although quite passionate, these were certainly not the “Kool-Aide drinking” radicals so often referred to in reference to the Ron Paul Revolution. While the familiar message of ending the Federal Reserve and restoring Constitutional government was present in most Paul protestors, these were not simply talking points repeated blindly. When asked, each Ron Paul supporter I talked to gave in depth examples and analysis of why Ron Paul is different from all the other politicians. Although Paul supporters were glad to have elements of Ron Paul’s message included in the official RNC platform, many expressed skepticism that his ideas would actually be pursued.
Certainly the Liberty Movement was alive and well in Tampa, to remind the Republican establishment just where they strayed.