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Protesters harassing those leaving RNC

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:47 AM
TAMPA -

Several dozen protesters who have been demonstrating downtown for the last several hours are marching back to their Romneyville protest camp after harassing people leaving the Forum at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention.

The demonstrators have been on several streets near the convention since about 8 p.m. and chanted anti-Romney slogans within sight of the tour buses hauled in to transport delegates.

Marchers paraded around downtown before ending up at the protest zone, which is near the Forum where the delegates were watching Romney's acceptance speech. In a deal brokered by police, protesters gathered at Ashley and Whiting so they could be close enough to be seen by some departing delegates.

Shortly before 11:30 p.m., people leaving the forum began streaming by the protesters, who were chanting "Shame, shame.'' Those leaving were protected from the demonstrators by a moving wall of police officers.

At about 11:45 p.m., marchers headed northbound on Ashley, backing up traffic on Kennedy in the process.

Officers are walking with the people who are leaving the Forum and making their way through downtown.

One protester said she had confronted one of the people leaving the Forum. The man pushed her arm, she said, adding she was going to file a police report.

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