Working the outside, Occupy Tallahassee has already set up a base at Gaines Street Commons. Purporting to represent the "99 percent," the group will be joined by like-minded activists from around the state.
To kick things off Tuesday, the left-wing coalition has reserved the Old Capitol Steps from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. for a daylong series of rallies and speeches.
A week later, activist academic Cornel West -- the self-described "provocative democratic intellectual" -- is scheduled to speak at an Occupy protest.
Working the inside on Tuesday, the Tea Party Network will host a morning coffee reception for lawmakers in Room 117 of the Knott Building.
TPN has also reserved the Old Capitol steps from 7-9 a.m., but doesn't plan a repeat of the large public tea party rally that was held there last year.
"We will have one individual with one sign," said TPN chairwoman Patricia Sullivan. In a rebuttal to the Occupy slogan "This is What a Democracy Looks Like," Sullivan suggested that the tea sign may read "This is What a Republic Looks Like."
The Tea Party Network -- a coalition of 70 groups across the state -- will conduct a board meeting on Monday, and Sullivan promises "a pretty packed agenda" leading into the legislative session.
Barbara DeVane, a longtime liberal activist, envisions "a very lively day" on Tuesday.
Following Gov. Rick Scott's 11 a.m. State of the State address, DeVane said progressives assembled at the Old Capitol will deliver a "Message from Main Street."
"There's energy. People are seeing what's happening," said Tabitha Frazier of the Florida Alliance for Retired Citizens.
Rallying under Progress Florida's year-old "Awake the State" campaign, scheduled participants include public- and private-sector labor unions, college students, retirees, women's-rights advocates and the NAACP.
Also on hand will be activist groups Fight Back Florida and Florida New Majority, which is bringing a busload from Jacksonville.
In addition, 13 other Awake the State rallies are scheduled in cities across Florida Tuesday, said Progress Florida Chairman Mark Ferrulo.
"Those Floridians participating in Awake the State rallies on the first day of session are doing so to send a clear message to their representatives," Ferrulo said.
"Governor 'Pink Slip' Rick and his legislative allies need to end their extremist attacks on Florida’s middle class. Stop the devastating budget cuts that threaten every Floridian's quality of life and, instead, let’s start investing in our future."
Occupy Tallahassee plans to remain at Gaines Street Commons for at least the first week of the legislative session. West, author of "Race Matters, Democracy Matters" and 18 other books, is scheduled to speak to the group on Jan. 18.
Occupy reportedly will dispatch protesters to sit in the legislative gallery. Though no signs or verbal outbursts are permitted there, organizers could wrangle an entry pass and introduction from one of the legislators, which could give the Occupiers an opportunity to briefly express their "99 percent" message.
One of the state's leading liberal organizers, Susannah Randolph of Florida Watch Action, is married to state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando. Susannah Randolph said she will not be in Tallahassee on opening day and Scott Randolph said no one from the Occupy movement has requested gallery passes from him.
No one is saying publicly how many protesters are expected on Tuesday. A planning meeting in Orlando last month drew about 100 organizers from around the state.
A spokesman with Occupy Orlando said a "list of demands" would be presented to the Legislature on Tuesday.
Tom Tillison, an Orlando-based tea party activist and conservative blogger, said the Right should never underestimate the Left when it comes to public demonstrations.
"The Left always seems to have a step on the tea party, which is still playing catch up in this important area. This being a result of the Left being better organized simply because they've been at it longer."
Franco Ripple, a Democratic Party activist and organizer not affiliated with the Tallahassee effort, advised the Occupy movement to stay focused on the real target -- the banksters.
"As Occupy matures into its next stages, it needs to clarify and focus in on who they're fighting. Are you fighting City Hall and county government, whose job is keeping the lights on, the water clean and the roads maintained, or are you fighting the Wall Street banks squeezing the life out of America's middle class?
"Occupy shouldn't be down at City Hall, they should be down at Bank of America," Ripple said.
As for the tea party, Sullivan said, "We're not going to engage in an argument.
"We'll work with any group that advocates for free markets and limited government," she said, noting that TPN has been joined by the ACLU to promote a "voter rights restoration" bill.
Contact Kenric Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 801-5341.