Tampa, FL – Standing in front of a wall of TV cameras and reporters, organizers from Coalition to March on the RNC spoke at a press conference here, August 14, giving important updates on the plans for the massive August 27 march that will coincide with the opening day of the Republican National Convention.
Jared Hamil, a spokesperson for the Coalition to March on the Republican National Convention, said “Thousands of people from around the country will be uniting to say no to the Republican and 1% agenda. We are here to promote a true people’s agenda, not an agenda of poverty, hate and war.”
Skye Schmelzer, the Student Coordinator for the Coalition to March on the RNC, stated, “This year the student debt crisis has reached a record high. Students are fed up with being ignored and marginalized by the parties of the 1%. Hundreds of students will march alongside people from all walks of life on August 27, the opening day of the RNC, to demand good jobs, healthcare, affordable education, equality and peace.”
The Coalition to March on the RNC has drawn major support from the labor movement. Fernando Figueroa, the Statewide Coordinator for the Coalition to March on the RNC, said, “Labor Councils and unions are mobilizing from across the state and across the country. On August 27 there will be Central Labor Councils mobilizing from Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Gainesville to protest the RNC. Members of trade unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Teamsters and the International Association of Machinists will be marching in the streets alongside students, immigrants and community members to say no to the 1% and both their parties.”
Marisol Marquez with Students Working for Equal Rights in Tampa said, “Today is the beginning of Deferred Action Application submissions for undocumented youth. We know Deferred Action is not the end goal for the undocumented population. So on August 27, Tampa Students Working for Equal Rights along with the Dream Defenders, the Student Farm Worker Alliance and other immigrant rights groups from across the nation will be demanding equality for the undocumented.”
Mick Kelly, one of the main organizers of the massive 2008 RNC protest in Saint Paul, Minnesota also spoke at the press conference. “People from around the country are looking forward to marching on the RNC in Tampa. The Republican Party is waging a war on the working people of this country. We have had enough,” said Kelly.
The August 27 RNC protest will begin with a 10:00 a.m. rally at Perry Harvey Sr. Park, located at 1200 N. Orange Ave in Tampa. After speakers greet the crowd, demonstrators will march to the Tampa Bay Times Forum – the site of the RNC - around noon.