'Occupy' gets, well, occupied - FOX 13 News

'Occupy' gets, well, occupied

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Thousands of protesters -- some peaceful, some violent -- plan to show up for the Republican National Convention in August.

One of those planned marchers is Thomas Parisi. He was the head of the Occupy Miami movement and has since left to form a new activist group called Occupy RNC.

"We're protesting at the RNC as a viewpoint where we are under the law, with the law, never above the law," said Parisi.

Parisi says 'Occupy' protests used to have a purpose, until anarchist groups like the Black Bloc began infiltrating their marches. That has forced many occupiers out.

"You have to understand they are no more than domestic terrorists. No more or less than that," Parisi continued.

He also remembers how dangerous things got in Miami, even for law enforcement. "In Miami, these Black Blockers, we had to try to prevent them from killing a member of the Miami-Dade police force and they were going to try that during the middle of the day."

During the NATO Summit in May, three members of the Black Bloc were arrested for planning to blow up Obama's Headquarters in Chicago with Molotov cocktails.

Parisi knows two of the men arrested in Chicago and expects more problems in Tampa. "We can expect anywhere between 2,000 to 4,000 of these individuals to come down here and just making mayhem on the city."

But Sgt. Larry McKinnon with the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office says they are planning and preparing for radical protesters. He says undercover operations are already in play, while they monitor their movements on social websites.

"We want to learn as much as we can, and if looking at these websites can give us clues as to predicting the future, that's what we are gonna do," said Sgt. McKinnon.

Parisi, who has seen it firsthand, warns anarchists will show up to create chaos and havoc. Deputies insist they will be ready.

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