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Tampa activists rally against anti-protest bill

By staff |
October 13, 2020
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Tampa, FL - On October 10, members of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee and others rallied at Tampa City Hall to protest Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' proposed anti-protest bill. On September 21, DeSantis released the proposed legislation called “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act.” If the bill is signed into law, it would legalize running over protesters with cars, and would make marching on the street a felony offense. Governor DeSantis' anti-protest bill is a direct response to protests during the George Floyd uprising, the Black Lives Matter movement and the First Amendment right to assembly and free speech.

The anti-protest bill would also allow police and prosecutors to impose RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charges on organizers of protests that become ‘disorderly’ and it would cut state grants and aid to any local government that reduces its police budget.

"DeSantis' proposed bill is just another installment in the war on protesters," said Will Blake, a member of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee (TBAC). "It's important that we stand together and fight back while we still can."

Governor DeSantis is urging Florida lawmakers to hold a special session to fast-track the anti-protest bill into law on November 17. Community organizations and activists from across the state of Florida plan to mobilize to the state capitol building during the special session to demand that they kill the anti-protest bill.