Along with new campaign decisions being made at Republican and Democratic national conventions, the newest technology in civilian surveillance and police weaponry are also debuted every four years. In 2008 in Minneapolis, hundreds of protesters and bystanders were arrested and charged with Felony-Riot. People near the convention described sitting at a park and then being surrounded by police, zip tied and taken to jail for up to three days.
The DNC in 2008 was held in Denver, CO where hundreds of arrests ensued for anyone who looked ‘suspicious’ standing near the convention. The city of Denver planned for so many arrests that a warehouse was converted into a massive prison for protesters. The warehouse was called ‘GITMO on the Platte’ and deemed as a ‘concentration camp’ reminiscent of the Japanese internment camps that were located in Southern Colorado during World War II. Denver spent $25 million for security and the purchasing of equipment for the 2008 DNC. The ACLU sued Denver following a mass arrest at a street march near Fifteenth St. and Court in 2008. The ACLU stated, “They [Denver Police] must have individualized facts showing that each separate person they arrest was violating the law. Police violate the Constitution when they simply arrest everyone who happens to be in the area.”
Officials in Tampa are preparing for mass arrests; Orient Road Jail has been vacated to ensure that the 1,700 beds can be utilized if needed. It has been reported that an Occupy Tampa protester was arrested on August 27, 2012, for refusing to remove his mask at the request of the police. Occupy Tampa has also reported that homeless people are being arrested near the convention by ‘secret service.’
Tampa received a $50 million federal grant just for security. Tampa bought high-tech security cameras, body armor, and an armored tank. During the RNC, Tampa will have boat patrols armed with fully automatic .308 caliber rifles. Trapwire surveillance systems have also been installed throughout Tampa and according to RT:
"TrapWire is a detailed surveillance system that “can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw[s] patterns, and do[es] threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” Anything suspect gets input into the system to be “analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”