The FBI is worried about anarchist protesters disrupting Tampa during the Republican National Convention, which may be a valid concern if St. Paul in 2008 is any guide, but the warnings sound borderline ridiculous.
Fox News, for one, cited an FBI document that warned of "acid-filled eggs." What the hell? There was no explanation of what that meant, but fortunately Daily Intel's Dan Amira compiled a quick history of the tactic, which dates all the way back to strikers in 1905 and entails pretty much what it sounds like: An eggshell injected with sulphuric acid too weak to dissolve the shell, but strong enough to damage skin.
CNN, which also got a copy of the FBI report, didn't mention the acid-filled eggs, but reported that "the bulletin ... says that anarchists could try to use improvised explosive devices." Worst of all, per CNN's Carol Cratty:
It also says that, as of March, the FBI had intelligence indicating individuals from New York "planned to travel to Tampa and attempt to close" all of the Tampa Bay-area bridges during the Republican National Convention next week.
It's worth remembering that protesters blocked traffic in New York City during the Republican National Convention in 2004.
Then there's the collection of bricks and pipes police confiscated from a building roof near the convention site, as noted by Tampa's local Fox affiliate. That sounds like the kind of stuff that would be on any old building roof, but it's rendered insidious because of a spray-painted Guy Fawkes image found nearby. Police said "the business owner called us," so maybe that means someone familiar with the site noticed the pile of materials was out of place?
Anyway, the FBI bulletin says the majority of the protesters are expected to keep it peaceful and play by the rules, CNN reports, so if there really is a contingent planning to toss acid-filled eggs, bricks, and pipes, at least there won't be too many of them.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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