Tampa City Council Reviews “Clean Zone” Rules

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ The Tampa City Council has postponed a vote on the city’s proposed ground rules for protests outside the Republican National Convention, so officials can address concerns raised by civil libertarians, Occupy Tampa, protest groups and council members themselves.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/I7iOlh) reports the council decided to postpone the vote on Thursday.

Councilors are concerned that the city’s proposed clean zone _ where many types of potential weapons would be banned _ is too large and that a proposed 60-minute time limit on parades and demonstrations in that area is unrealistic.

The proposed ordinance would create a designated protest zone near the convention site at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he wants to protect demonstrators’ free speech rights and keep downtown safe.