TAMPA, Fla., April 11 (UPI) -- Groups who plan to protest at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., came to the city to protest its failure to act on parade permits.
City officials said they are waiting for a final ordinance to establish a "clean zone" around the convention site, The Tampa Tribune reported. Demonstrators who gathered Tuesday also oppose the city's time limits for parades and demonstrations and its plans for a zone where all weapons would be banned except for licensed firearms -- which the city cannot ban under Florida law.
"We truly think the clean zone suppresses free speech," Corey Uhl, a member of the Coalition to March on the RNC, said.
Uhl also accused the city of "dragging its feet" on permits. He said his group applied for a permit in January and was still waiting to hear.
The clean zone would include all of downtown and much of the surrounding area. The City Council has sent the draft back for a rewrite, the Tampa Bay Times said.
Protesters said the zone is too large and its rules are too restrictive.
"We will not be caged, because we are not animals," Jared Hamil of Fight Back Florida told the Times.
The convention begins Aug. 27.