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Tampa 5 to host victory webinar on lessons of their struggle

By staff

On Tuesday, December 12, at 8pm Eastern (7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific), the Emergency Committee to Defend the Tampa 5 will host a webinar on the lessons of their victorious struggle to get their charges dropped. Laura Rodriguez and Lauren Pineiro will speak on behalf of the Tampa 5. They will be joined by Frank Chapman, Executive Director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, as well as a speaker representing Students for a Democratic Society.

The Tampa 5 are an example of how to fight back against repression of free speech in the era of DeSantis. After being attacked by police on March 6, 2023, for holding a rally against DeSantis' attacks on diversity programs and ethnic studies in higher education, the Tampa 5 faced serious felony charges from the unelected, DeSantis-appointed state attorney Susan Lopez.

The Tampa 5 responded by building a nation-wide movement for justice and against DeSantis: they built a local coalition of students, unions and community organizations; mobilized students across the country to hold solidarity demonstrations and call-in days; and build nation-wide support through a speaking tour that visited 30 cities.

On December 5, as a serious pre-trial mobilization was underway, the Tampa 5 announced victory: their misdemeanor and felony charges would be dropped. This was made possible by months of mass mobilization and organizing, as well as a bold legal strategy. There is much that other activists and movements facing increased repression can learn from the Tampa 5.

You can register for the webinar here:

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