Thursday, April 29, 2010

Democracy: 2010

The governor of my state, Charlie Crist, announced he would make a political announcement today, so I decided to go. There was a lot of security around:



Also, there were a lot of reporters:







There were probably as many reporters, campaign staff, and security people as regular citizens who showed up. Here is a view early on:


After Crist supporters, the biggest group by far, were people with very generic signs, trying to save local health departments. I'm guessing they were given the day off to go and "protest" here.



There was one person against oil drilling:



One person for pot:



And some people for clean energy:



An independent thinker:



And a conservative for Crist:



Most of them seemed nice and cheerful, but some of the USF students were shouting things like "Muslim President!" and "Socialism!", being in support of those things.

There were some signs for teachers for Crist and women for Crist. I thought there were a lot, but at one point I was up on the stage:



And they told everyone to get off who wasn't a teacher (and invited), and it turned out there were only about ten of them.

I assume they filled out the stage with campaign workers. This guy was is a suit handing out signs and he ended up holding a sign on stage:



When Crist came, he shook his hand.

I'm guessing there were 300 people there, including reporters and security. Here's a video where I spun around:


Eventually Crist shows up, and I got to see his ear:



He gives a speech and announces he's running for Senate as an Independent. It was a strange announcement, because he didn't pause to allow people to clap, or really "announce" anything. It was more like he mentioned his running as an Independent in passing.

At one point he talked about how we need "a new tone", how people should be able to disagree while still being civil. As he goes on people start chanting "Crist! Crist! Crist!" and I chant "Rubio!" (his Republican opponent) and boo. I'm not a Republican, I just don't like Crist. And I'm not going to apologize for booing, because this was an event open to the public, for a politician who loves to say how he's always listening to the people. Well, I had something to say, and I booed. It's how I express myself, *swear word* *swear word*.

I was called a "moron", someone pushed me (accidentally?), one of the teachers on stage turned around and told me to shut up; someone even made a crack about how there were lots of idiots like me where he came from, Alaska. So much for "a new tone".

I think I was the only person up there booing. There were a few people with Rubio signs off in the distance.



I asked one, why they weren't up there booing and they said they weren't a rabble-rouser. I guess that means I am one.

Here's a shot I took right after Crist left; I think it captures pretty well how many people were there:



Anyway, I had fun exercising my right to free expression. Yay Democracy!

4 comments:

Darcy said...

Way to go, Jason! Woot!

El Pollo Real said...

Did you get any ice cream?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Did you get any ice cream?

I forgot to eat, I've been at the meeting, then uploading photos and writing this post the entire time.

Pete said...

Good thing you didn't burn a flag!

Kidding!

As I tweeted, you rocked this rally, Jason. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Now, got get a bit to eat. You look famished.