Hosting the Republican National Convention doesn’t come cheap. Just ask Tampa, Fla. In preparation for this week’s gathering, the city’s police department received roughly $50 million from Congress to purchase, among other things, high-tech surveillance equipment and armored vehicles.

In addition to the financial cost, there’s also the convenience expense. As in, the southern half of downtown has been completely cut off and is inaccessible.

With Day One of the convention effectively canceled because of concerns over Tropical Storm Isaac,” “Democracy Now!” took a look at security measures and their costs on its Monday program.

“What’s interesting is that you can’t get through downtown Tampa within blocks and blocks of the Tampa Convention Center, so if you’re trying to drive through, if you’ve got business down in that part of town, you have no access to it,” Tampa radio host Rob Lorei told the show’s Amy Goodman. “And it seems, in some ways, that this is overkill, that they are preparing for something that — a need that didn’t arise.”

Lorei added: “There’s probably — and I don’t know what the number are, but there’s probably 10 security personnel for every protester who’s in town.”

Watch the entire segment below:

— Posted by Tracy Bloom.


If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.