Thursday, September 18, 2008

Local activists to join protests at Republican National Convention in Minneapolis

*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 02, 2008

South Florida activists have joined the front lines of protesters at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

Panagioti Tsolkas, co-chairman of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, said today that he will head to Minneapolis on Wednesday, to lend solidarity and "jail support" to activists who've been confronting delegates at this week's convention.

"To say you don't want people protesting in the streets is the same as saying you didn't want the Boston Tea Party to happen," Tsolkas said. "People have every reason to be upset and to be standing their ground."

About a dozen people from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have joined the protests at the convention, where more than 100 people have been arrested, he estimated. The county coalition has 200-300 people who participate "to some degree," and about 20-30 who regularly attend its monthly meetings, he said.

The South Florida participants in Minneapolis include environmental, social and anti-war activists, he said.

The Environmental Coalition, when it protested FPL's western Palm Beach County power plant construction in February, received support from groups around the country, Tsolkas said. In Minneapolis he hopes "to provide jail support and keep public awareness and public interest on the protest and the reason people are protesting," he said.

He supports those who have tried to block Republican Party delegates from attending the convention, he added. "It fits the course of history for people who are responding to urgent situations. ...I wish they could shut the whole convention down. The Republicans have turned this country into an empire."

No comments: