TAMPA, Florida -- During the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008, more than 800 people were arrested for violence, and that is exactly what Tampa Police want to avoid here.
Tuesday night, the ACLU held a forum to address what is and isn't protected free speech during demonstartions, and some in the crowd didn't like what they were told, openly challenging police.
The panel of Tampa officials took a lot of heat, and some painted dire predictions. Some people took great exception to the city ordinance that regulates things that could be used as weapons, like helium balloons, effigies, and political puppets, saying their first amendment rights will be violated.
The panel did its best to assure those in attendance that their rights would be protected, something reiterated by the Tampa Police Department.