Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle


By Shaine Carrol-Frey

SDS national convention held in Chicago. | Fight Back! News/staff

Chicago, IL – On October 14 and 15, roughly 180 members and affiliates of the New Students for a Democratic Society(SDS) from over 20 campuses met for their annual National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

The students came from all over the U.S. to unite under the slogan of “Students Defend Education, Unions Strike Back!” to highlight both the attacks of education, especially ethnic studies such as Black studies and American Indian studies, and the increased level of union activity in 2023. Attendees listened to panels and gave workshops over a variety of topics, sharing strategy and tactics with SDS chapters from across the country.


By Gage Lacharite

October 8 Tampa demonstration supports struggle in Palestine.  | Fight Back! News/Dave Decker

Tampa, FL – On October 8, 300 pro-Palestine protesters lined the intersection of Fowler Avenue and 56th Street in the Tampa area in solidarity with the ongoing fight in Palestine against the Israeli occupation. The crowd was energetic, denouncing the terroristic Israeli government and the massive monetary support from the United States, chanting “Hey Joe Biden can’t you see? Gaza will be free!”


By staff

National March to Protect Trans Youth in Orlando, Florida. | Fight Back! News/staff

Orlando, FL – Hundreds of people converged on Orlando City Hall on October 7, for the National March to Protect Trans Youth. Organizers from all over the country – including states as far as California, Louisiana, Montana and Connecticut – gathered to oppose Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ attacks on LGBTQ people.


By staff

The Appleton, WI stop on the Tampa 5 speaking tour. | Fight Back! News/staff

Appleton, WI – On Saturday, September 23, students, faculty, and other members of the Fox Valley community gathered at Lawrence University’s Warch Cinema in defense of the Tampa 5. In their second stop on their national tour, Lauren Pineiro and Chrisley Carpio of the Tampa 5 spoke to the LU community. Opening with chants of ‘drop the charges now!’ and ‘fight back!’, the Tampa 5 representatives spoke in detail of their case and its repercussions to the group of 35 people. For some, it was their first time hearing of the infuriating case, where the five protesters are facing five to ten years in prison on false charges.


By staff

Tampa 5 national speaking tour in Milwaukee, WI. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – More than 30 activists, organizers and supporters gathered at ZAO Church in Milwaukee on the evening of September 25 to listen to the Tampa 5's Chrisley Carpio and Lauren Pineiro talk about the situation in Florida and what led to their current struggle.


By staff

Justice for the Tampa 5 Tour promotional image

Fight Back! is circulating this statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

The Tampa 5 – Gia Davila, Lauren Pineiro, Laura Rodriguez, Jeanie K, and Chrisley Carpio – are the five Students for a Democratic Society protesters at the University of South Florida who were attacked by campus police and are now facing five to ten years in prison for protesting Governor Ron DeSantis' attacks on diversity programs and all of higher education.


By Elijah Lieberman

Tallahassee students march to defend diversity. | Fight Back! News/staff

Tallahassee, FL – On Wednesday, September 13, the FSU Students for a Democratic Society held a noise demo on Florida State’s campus. The demonstration began at the Integration Statue and looped around Landis Green, two of the most populated areas of campus. Students and faculty chanted “Stand up and defy! HB 999!” “Increase Black enrollment! FSU, end your silence!” and “Down with DeSantis!”

With this noise demo, the FSU SDS aims to bring attention to one of its three core campaigns for the 2023-2024 school year: “Defend Diversity @ FSU! Increase Black Enrollment!” Governor Ron DeSantis has passed bills to cut funding from diversity services throughout Florida colleges, which serves as a threat to the future of education in the state. Diversity programs were won through hard-fought struggle in the 1960s and 70s and DeSantis and his lackeys seek to reverse them. FSU is a predominantly white institution, so diversity programs, ethnic studies and multicultural groups are essential for African American, multicultural and marginalized students and faculty.

To kick off the noise demo, Joelle Nuẽz, president of FSU SDS, shouted, “FSU has consistently ignored and disrespected queer and trans students, Black students, Hispanic/Latino students, faculty, and more by ignoring the issue of attacks on diversity. We’re not going to let them ignore us anymore!”

The event was co-sponsored by VEGFSU, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, the FSU Graduate Assistants United, FSU’s Black Men in Medicine (BMM). BMM President Miffordens Registre commented on the alarming attacks on Black history within both the liberal arts and the sciences, stating “We wholeheartedly reject any notion that diverse, respo nsible doctors can be made in an environment that stifles and crosses out any mention of them in the history books and debates their legacies out of classrooms. We will fight to see people like us honored and respected in every facet of education, healthcare, and beyond!”

FSU SDS and other groups, such as FSU’s United Faculty of Florida, the campus faculty union, have attempted to get more information from administration on how HB 999 will affect specific programs of study such as African American Studies and social work, but admin has consistently dodged giving clear answers. As a result, students and faculty are publicly announcing their plans to leave Florida State by the end of this school year. In conversation with Dr. Walter Boot, a psychology professor featured in the Tallahassee Democrat last month, he stated “It is so disappointing that it has come to this. I have been at FSU for 15 years, and at one point imagined I'd spend my entire career here. But I don't recognize this place anymore.”

FSU SDS closed out the event by declaring their plans to mobilize students to the next Board of Trustees meeting, set for November 10.

#TallahasseeFL #SDS #FSUSDS #TallyCAC #DeSantis #BlackEnrollment #DEI

By staff

Orlando activists fight for trans bathroom access. | Fight Back! News/staff

Orlando, FL – Activists and community members gathered outside of the Orange County courthouse in Orlando on September 1 to protest the agenda of Governor Ron DeSantis, in the wake of his recent attacks on the democratic rights. The community came together to show their support for transgender rights, and to protest the bigotry of DeSantis and the political climate he has orchestrated.


By Freedom Road Socialist Organization Orlando District

FRSO Orlando condemns the increasing far-right activity seen across Central Florida, including the two recent neo-Nazi demonstrations. The two rallies, one at Walt Disney World and the other at Cranes Roost in Altamonte Springs, were put on by multiple white supremacist neo-Nazi organizations as part of a larger Labor Day mobilization. The plan was exposed by the Anti-Defamation League multiple days before Labor Day, allowing the Orlando community to spread information about ways to fight back.