Behind the News

Baywalk loses its protesters

Looks like Baywalk is losing more than just its tenants. Downtown St. Pete’s bastion of corporate America is now without its most frequent patrons: the protesters.

For the last four years, St. Pete for Peace has rallied on the sidewalk in front of Baywalk protesting everything from the Iraq War to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. But, as the crowds around the downtown hotspot diminished, the protesters decided to move on.

In a blast to like-minded souls on their e-mail list, St. Pete for Peace announced the decision:

Due to the dramatic drop in business at Baywalk, we no longer find it to be the best use of our time and energy to continue our monthly protests there.  We believe we can reach more people in venues other than Baywalk, but if business at Baywalk increases or there are future attempts to restrict demonstrations on the public sidewalks near Baywalk, we will then reevaluate our decision.

There is no doubt lots of folks who will happy over this, but the store owners at Baywalk have to be sweatin’. By my account, the protesters are the proverbial canary in the coal mine.