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All out for July 12: National Day of Protest to drop the charges on the Tampa 5!

By staff

Organize a protest for the Tampa 5's second court appearance!

The Tampa 5 defendants at the founding of the Emergency Committee to Defend the

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5.

The Tampa 5 have their second court appearance on Wednesday, July 12. The newly formed Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5 is calling for protests around the country to drop the charges. This call is in conjunction with the National Day of Protest already called for by the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and by the New Students for a Democratic Society.

We are calling specifically on District Attorney Susan Lopez and Prosecutor Justin Diaz to drop the charges on Gia Davila, Jeanie Kida, Chrisley Carpio, Lauren Pineiro, and Laura Rodriguez. They are campus protesters who were attacked by the University of South Florida Police Department, and not the other way around.

Actions to Take on July 12:

1. Organize a protest – at a county courthouse, a local police department, on campus, wherever you think people can go and see you. Or find one near you!

2. Call in to the 13th Judicial Court of Florida State Attorney's Office to demand that the charges be dropped. We will send out call-in details – time, phone numbers, and script – closer to the date.

Actions to Take Anytime:

1. Host any or all of the Tampa 5 in your city or on your local campus as we conduct a speaking tour around the country

2. Sign your organization onto this petition and help us spread the word about the Tampa 5:

The Tampa 5 are students and workers who attended a Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society protest on March 6th to save diversity programs at the University of South Florida and to oppose Ron DeSantis' anti-education bill, HB 999. They were attacked, arrested, and now charged with felonies by the University of South Florida Police Department. Their felonies and potential prison time were doubled by the unelected, DeSantis-appointed state attorney, Susan Lopez, and her underling, Justin Diaz. They now face five to ten years in prison for exercising their right to protest and freedom of speech. The students were suspended and one of the five, the campus worker, Chrisley Carpio, was fired from her job at the university.

On June 24th, over 130 attendees of an emergency defense conference founded a new organization: the Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5, which is national in scope. We are embarking on a long-term defense campaign to get the charges dropped and to defend the right to free speech in the state of Florida, and we need your help!

Thanks so much for your solidarity and support so far, and we'll see you in the streets!

#UnitedStates #StudentMovement #PoliticalRepression #Tampa5