Jacksonville travels to state capitol to fight repressive legislation on first day of session
Tallahassee, FL – On March 2, the first day of Florida legislative session, over 30 cars from Jacksonville joined with hundreds of protesters from around the state to rally against House Bill 1/Senate Bill 484, the repressive, anti-speech and racist legislation proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis and the right-wing Florida legislature.
Activists and groups under the banner of the “Florida Alliance” from the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Sound Miami, Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County, Pensacola Community Action Committee, Tampa Bay Community Action Committee, Leon County Democrats, Answer Coalition Suncoast, as well as representatives from Our Revolution, the Emergency Campaign for Free Speech and PSL Tampa all spoke to the crowd about the need for this bill to be defeated.
The crowd was also joined by Black State Representatives Michele Raynor Goolsby from the St. Pete area, Angie Nixon from Jacksonville and Travais McCurdy from Orlando, all who spoke in opposition to HB1, praising protesters for coming out. All those state representatives were elected last fall, after the George Floyd rebellion.
“You are all doing the work,” said Representative Michele Raynor Goolsby.
Protesters chanted, “Kill the bill,” and “DeSantis, resign, resign! Protesting is not a crime.”
“We must defeat this bill by any means necessary,” said Monique Sampson, who spoke on behalf of FRSO. “This bill seeks to criminalize our movement and they’re introducing it because they fear the power we have. We must see it defeated.”
HB1 adds stiffer penalties for protests deemed disorderly by police and as well makes defunding and reallocating police budgets nearly impossible. Through this legislation, if local police departments operating budgets are reduced by local municipalities, the governor’s office would have veto power.
The bill also makes it so that protesters arrested at protests wouldn’t be eligible for bail until after their first court appearance, along with other repressive measures meant to intimidate the movement.
To find out more about the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, visit https://jaxtakesaction.org and check out their social media at “Jax Takes Action.”