Gainesville, FL – This May Day, the Gainesville left mobilized to Bo Diddley Plaza. Gainesville’s activist community was represented by groups from various leftist groups. The celebration included speakers from organizations such as Industrial Workers of the World, Madres Sin Fronteras, the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons, and Gainesville National Women’s Liberation.
Gainesville, FL — Over 1000 University of Florida students and other activists from around the state gathered at the University of Florida here, Oct 19, to protest a speech by white supremacist Richard Spencer. In the runup to the event, UF president Fuchs dismissed demands that Spencer's event be canceled – in light of his white supremacist view. Fuchs argued that the best response to fascists is to ignore them. Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency, allowing the police to better prepare to repress anti-Nazi protesters.
Gainesville, FL – On Dec. 12, students and community members blocked the entrances to a basketball game between the University of Florida (UF) and Texas Southern University. The action was called as part of a growing movement to protest police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. This follows the failures to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as well as NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo, who choked Eric Garner to death.
Gainesville, FL – 150 students participated in a die-in, called for by the University of Florida’s chapter of Dream Defenders, Dec. 5, to protest ongoing police brutality in the U.S. After the decision to not indict the NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo who murdered Eric Garner, protests gained speed all over the U.S.
Gainesville, FL – Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the University of Florida marched through campus on Dec. 3. Students are demanding that the University Police Department opt out of the Department of Defense 1033 Program that provides assault rifles and armored vehicles to local police. The 1033 Program came under close scrutiny after protests against the police murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Photos of protesters and residents being confronted by local police armed with assault weapons and tank-type vehicles shocked the world.
Gainesville, FL – 100 students and community members protested the Ferguson grand jury decision, the failure to indict police officer Darren Wilson. Gathering at the Alachua County Court House in Gainesville at on Nov. 25, the protesters, wearing raincoats and holding umbrellas, stood in solidarity as the rain fell.
Gainesville, FL, – On Nov. 19, University of Florida Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a rally against police militarization in Turlington Plaza. Nearly three dozen students gathered at this busy spot where crowds of students walk by between classes. The student activists held signs saying, “Opt out of the 1033 program,” and “Schools don’t need soldiers.”
Gainesville, FL – On the evening of Nov. 13, University of Florida (UF) students held a Peoples’ Eulogy for the 43 Mexican students presumably murdered by police and drug gangs who were colluding with local and state politicians. Local police in Iguala, Guerrero, kidnapped the students, now known as the 43, on Sept. 26.
Gainesville, FL – On Nov. 10 the University of Florida’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a corner sign-holding protest in support of Rasmea Odeh. Odeh is a 67-year-old Palestinian woman activist from Chicago who is now being held in a Detroit jail. The U.S. government is targeting her because she is a powerful leader who speaks out against U.S. complicity in Israeli war crimes.
Gainesville, FL – On Nov. 5, Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Florida (UF SDS) conducted a workshop on history and growing militarization of police in the U.S., titled “The War at Home.” 25 students participated in the workshop. The University of Florida is where graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong was shot by campus police with an assault rifle on March 2, 2010. Adu-Brempong, from Ghana in Africa, was in his apartment when police broke down the door and Officer Keith Smith shot him in the face. The university eventually fired Lt. Stacey Ettel who was in charge at the scene.