More than a dozen activists were arrested Wednesday night after taking over part of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office to protest his “fascist agenda,” particularly his support for a new anti-immigrant bill.
Protest organizers said 14 people were arrested on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, dozens of members of the Florida-based, youth-led Dream Defenders and allied groups, including Florida Rising and Showing Up for Racial Justice, entered the lobby of DeSantis’ Tallahassee office, where a dozen people were seated and locked. hands in front of reception.
The activists — who have said they won’t leave until they meet with the governor and the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee — were protesting a wide range of DeSantis’ policies and actions, including including his support for SB 1718, a bill passed by both houses of the Florida Legislature. it would prohibit cities and counties from funding organizations that issue identity documents to people who enter the United States illegally.
The bill also prohibits businesses from accepting identity documents from such immigrants, including out-of-state driver’s licenses, and requires hospitals to record the immigration status of patients when checking in. their admission.
Video posted on social media by Dream Defenders shows at least one DeSantis staffer eating chocolate cake in front of protesters.
A protester can be heard saying in the video that “they’re sitting here eating cake while the people of Florida are in crisis.”
Florida Planned Parenthood Action tweeted that “as always, cruelty is the point with this administration.”
Florida Rising Senior Policy Advisor Dwight Bullard – a former Democratic state legislator – said in a statement that “Governor DeSantis and Republican lawmakers have chosen to attack many of the most vulnerable and historically marginalized communities in Florida with policies that attack who they are, who they love, and how and what they learn.”
Showing Up for Racial Justice associate director Julia Daniel said DeSantis “fuels division to try to scare white people, and I’m here to say we won’t be divided or deceived because we know we’re stronger when we are united.”
Common dreams reported last month that rights organizations had issued a travel advisory for Florida, with one of the groups, Equality Florida, citing “DeSantis’ passing of laws hostile to the LGBTQ+ community, restricting the access to reproductive health care, repealing gun safety laws and allowing untrained people to carry without permission and foment racial prejudice” warning that the Sunshine State “may not be a safe place to visit or to take up residence”.
Republished from Common Dreams (Brett Wilkins, editor) under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
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