The emergence of Tropical Storm Isaac had many people watching the skies for unusual cloud formations at Tampa, site of the Republican National Convention, which cancelled its first day on Saturday due to weather concerns.
But several others were watching the skies in the region for other reasons, as freedom advocates and anti-military industrial complex activists wondered whether or not unmanned drones would show up overhead, as reported in the Tampa Tribune leading up to the convention.
It seemed as if all was set for the drones to in fact fly, as the Tribune originally reported, which would have been quite the story considering the likely nomination of Mitt Romney, the Goldman Sachs-sponsored candidate many feels is too far aligned with big bankers and corporations to make any sort of progress in restoring civil liberties and access to resources in America.
But now it appears as if the plans to fly drones are off, according to a report on Officer.com from Aug. 25.
Despite that welcome piece of news, taken at face value anyway, many activists are still a bit unnerved by the whole situation. The report in Officer also quotes an engineer with the major drones company involved as saying that a contract had been reached with a private entity to let the drones fly during the convention, but further inquiries later on Friday from reporters were not met with responses.
“I am telling you, we will be present” during the convention,” he said according to the report as quoted from the Tribune. “I am not going to talk to you about the level of operational commitment.”
The drone type in question operates 4,000 feet above the ground and would presumably be used in a “security” role, although the large presence of protesters in the region has also been noted.
Much like the monstrous security deployments for events such the G6 summits and other meetings of the wealthy elite, the response by modern, ultra-obtrusive security contractors has been duly noted in this case by activists.
The question is whether or not there is any end in sight to the deployment of such sophisticated, mechanized equipment and whether or not all remaining traces of humanity will be sucked out of the security response to protesters, especially as more and more wealth is sucked out of the middle class.
Romney’s slam dunk nomination has been challenged by Ron Paul supporters as well as protesters at the convention who believe that their candidates and issues haven’t been properly spotlighted or addressed during this long-winded campaign season.
Despite their gripes, everything seems set to go according to plan in Tampa, and the massive “security” presence is yet another symbol that the status quo is desperate to squash all dissent.