Broad range of protesters expected outside GOP debate in Tampa

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Monday night’s Republican presidential candidates debate at the University of South Florida is expected to draw protesters from across the political spectrum.

Making its public debut, for example, will be a coalition of organized labor, student radicals and anti-war activists that has issued a nationwide call for a march on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

“We’re expecting a couple of hundred protesters out there from a number of different groups and coalition members,” said Dustin Ponder, an organizer with Fight Back Florida, a group created to bring together unions and young people.

Also expected is at least one group opposed to President Obama. Authorities are hoping for peaceful demonstrations, but say their response will be determined by how groups conduct themselves.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.