As the Republican National Convention nears, I have been concerning myself with logistics, networking, and action-planning. Being an activist who resides in the host city, I have by default turned into one of many hosts for the hordes of protesters that will be flooding into Tampa. One of the questions we have had to ask ourselves is “How is our city different and what pros and cons do these differences bring to the table?”. The answer that concerned us most is our climate. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s sunny. It’s the middle of summer and protesters will be outside for hours on end, many of whom are not from here and therefore not used to Florida’s heat.
This is a huge hindrance for anyone interested in participating in a black bloc, which requires layers of clothing (for inconspicuous getaways) and of course black, which attracts heat and sunlight. Now imagine running around, expending every last ounce of energy in all that gear. Heat strokes are bound to happen and you’d be crazy to think that an EMS is going to be sent into that fray to save “violent”, bear-caught anarchists.
While I defend actions such as black blocs and the ideologies behind them, the above scenario is what has caused myself and others to ask for protesters at the RNC to not have a black bloc. The last thing any of us want are severe cases of dehydration and heat stroke. And when I say severe I say it with fatalities in mind. Believe me, this is not a hyperbole. People die each year from heat-related illnesses in our state.
Besides, they’re expecting us to black bloc. It’s a worn out method; almost boring at this point. Why not flex our creative muscles and throw them for a loop? Instead of the same old images of black clad persons smashing in windows, let’s see something a little different, something that will make this convention stand apart from all the others. Ideas are circulating. All we’re asking is that you keep your eyes, ears, and wardrobes open.