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Protesters And Workers Rally From Around Tampa Bay

A small crowd of Tampa Bay area workers and unions demonstrated on Wednesday night.

The Republican National Convention hasn't brought the hordes of protesters and demonstrations that law enforcement officials anticipated.

The media has since turned its attention to other things after protest organizers explained on Monday that buses expected to deliver thousands of compatriots had canceled trips due to Tropical Storm Isaac. This fact hasn't stopped locals from voicing their discontent with the Republican agenda, however.

On Wednesday evening, a crowd of around 100 blue collar workers from various unions and organizations gathered on the east side of downtown for a peaceful march toward the event zone, hoping to make the voice of the American worker heard.

"The workers of America want secure jobs and better living wages," Tarpon Springs resident and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Kathy Smith said. "We have to come out here and make sure that Republicans know we're not happy about what they want to do. The turnout could be a little better, but we're here; that's what matters."

IBEM's John Dehmel from St. Petersburg made the drive with his compatriots and felt that the turnout actually wasn't that bad considering the conditions that have been created in downtown Tampa surrounding the convention.

"When you consider how hard it is to get down here and the fact that a lot of people are coming right after work, this turnout isn't that bad," Dehmel said. "We just want better high road jobs. You don't hear that coming from Republican policy so we came down here to ensure that our voice and what we want is being heard."

One of the unions heavily represented was that of the Letter Carriers. Carrollwood's Innis MacIntosh made the trip downtown because he believes that if Mitt Romney is elected, the post office will become further privatized, a direction he believes to be wrong.

"The post office is privatized enough," MacIntosh said. "You see all these people coming out with signs about the post office and the letter carriers. This is a show of solidarity that people don't agree with further privatization."

Others like Gulfport's Lori Hime were there to demonstrate against Romney's controversial policies that will affect women, an issue that has received plenty of attention from the Obama administration and protesters at the RNC throughout the week.

"I feel like this entire party and what they want to do does not represent the needs of women," Hime said. "I want them to hear my message. I'm pretty much against every talking point they have. These people out here are out here to show support and solidarity; that's what it's all about. This is democracy in action but unfortunately you see less and less of it."

Have you gone downtown to protest? What issues concern you? Post your response in the "comments" section.

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