Last year, numerous provocateurs and infiltrators popped up in the run-up to the 2012 RNC in Tampa to cause trouble and divide activist communities, which led to us publishing this article. While much of the danger of that situation has passed, provocateurs are still creating problems for Tampa activists.
Most recently, notorious provocateur Al Suarez came to a Justice for Trayvon rally to attempt to make a racially-tinged “citizen’s arrest” of a reputable community organizer affiliated with Occupy Tampa. This accusation stems from Suarez being banned from Occupy Tampa last summer due to numerous accounts of predatory and sexually harassing behavior dating back to 2010, which included accusations of sexual assault from Occupy camps in the Northeast.
After this, Suarez co-published a number of videos accusing Tampa activists of being “terrorists” and even appeared at City Commission meetings to demand their arrest based on Suarez’s hyper-inflated drive to snitch-jacket people who stand up to him.
Recently, Suarez has been back to his pattern of befriending activists and groups who are not familiar with his past and attempting to get them to join his campaign to divide and vilify Tampa area activists.
Food Not Bombs has had a long history of dealing with problems like this in Florida and strongly recommends Florida activists share this information with one another to prevent individuals like this from taking advantage of our lack of communication. Stay safe out there!