Anti-inauguration protest at Sembler Company

photo from LIVEJOURNAL

Photo by Kim.

Photo by Kim

dateline St. Petersburg, Fl., 1/20/05. As Sembler Company founder Melvin Sembler struts about Europe blowing his own horn, throwing elaborate Roman toga parties and steering American taxpayer millions to Italian medical researchers, company CEO Craig Sher is left holding the bag whenever the construction/management company and its venues are protested because of the founder's political asperations and controversial social stances. The people in the photo are mostly from St. Pete for Peace who protested Sembler on Tuesday for his ties to Bush, the war and right wing elitism. The Straight crowd and the Uhuru, other groups with gripes with Sembler, were poorly represented at the rally; though Citizens for Legitimate Government cited Straight's abuse of human rights as a reason for the protest.

There were about 20 - 30 protesters. CBS' WTSP in Tampa mentioned the protest briefly. They said the reason for the location was that Sembler was a 'friend' of Bush. Tampa's WFTS ABC Action News covered the protest. ABC News aired a video of the event and reported the location of the protest as the 5800 block of Central Ave., never mentioning Mel Sembler or why the crowd had decided to protest in front of the Sembler Company. Several people were asked why they were there but camera shots were careful not to show the Sembler Company behind them. Everyone shown on ABC's coverage spoke against George Bush, never mentioning Sembler. Coverage by Citizens for Legitimate Government cited Straight's human rights violations was one reason for the protest. It was a very poor showing for the Straight Survivors crowd. (Click ABC and select Video headlines (on right), "Bush protesters come out".)

I said let them eat cake
. . . and ice cream!!!
Ms. Ambassadorable Betty Sembler from her Magic Kingdom, the Villa Taverna in Rome

While protesters mulled about the Sembler Company, Mel and Betty were enjoying the Inaugural festivities in the nation's capital with the Bush's and Cheney's. Fashioner designer Peggy Jennings designed a dress and coat that First Lady Laura Bush will wear during Inaugural Week. Ms. Jennings is long-time friends with Melvin and Betty Sembler. Their Treasure Island neighbor, Mayor Mary Maloof, used to be Peggy Jennings' business partner. Last week Betty got a call from the White House asking if she would have room at her table at the Ball for Ms. Jennings and her husband. "Of course there was," the ambassador's wife replied. protest organizers