By Harriet Heywood.
Tampa had a great event with 22 very committed people, seeing as how we all knew we were going to get soaked.
We couldn’t use the mics because of the weather, so we had 2 bullhorns. Mine was great initially, but then it shorted out and would only play the siren when I tried to speak because of the poring rain. Luckily, my partner in Tampa, Chris Radulich had a bullhorn that he kept dry, so we used that. It didn’t really start raining until we started the event. We had 3 great banners but only 2 show.
We huddled in the BOA parking lot which is where Mike Fox / PDA took the group shots. actually, thank god he did because none of us had any hands left over. We opened with a Mic Check and at that time, it was drizzling. By the time we were done with the mic check, it was raining. We marched and chanted, and the CWA president, Steve Sarnoff, local 3179, played drums as we marched. Everything we had was soaking wet by the time we got to the Memorial Park, Steve gave a speech, I did, and others had short speeches, but the high point of my day was when Jimmy Dunson, USF student and poet, recited a beautiful poem, in the pouring rain. It was such a heartfelt moment, I felt tears coming.
Then, about 15 of us crossed over Kennedy Blvd to Rubio’s office, where 3 of us went up to his office, Kent Bailey, Tampa Bay Sierra Club representative, Steve Sarnoff, CWA President local 3179. We spoke to Rubio’s trade person on conference, and I asked if he had read the text, if he did read the text then to give us a good reason why he would vote to kill democracy and sovereignty, etc… She said he is reading the TPP and will not vote for it if it isn’t good for his constituents. Hairball. We all made our cases, and then as the grand finale, I took out the roll of TPP, still wrapped in plastic from D.C. and told the woman on the other end that I had a roll of very clean TPP, not used or anything yet, but that Rubio could find something useful to do with it, and read some of the slogans, and the office assistants said they’d be sure to take a picture of it and forward it on.
Central Labor’s Cheryl Schroeder told us Tampa is almost certainly going to pass a resolution soon, is collaborating with Kathy Castor, and that was the kickoff.
We had reps from UAW, CWA, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club, People Demanding Action, PDA, local poet, Occupy, and other free spirits. The best part for me was, while small, just the fact that these folks came out knowing it was going to pour, and they came out and made a great event. Way to go Tampa!