Jacksonville, FL: No to Governor DeSantis’ repressive and anti-speech HB1 legislation

By Monica Gold |
February 3, 2021
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Jacksonville, FL protest slams Governor DeSantis’ repressive legislation.
Jacksonville, FL protest slams Governor DeSantis’ repressive legislation. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Jacksonville, FL - On January 30, the Jacksonville Community Action Committee (JCAC) organized a protest against Florida House Bill 1 (HB1/SB484): Combating Public Disorder. This bill is a 60-page document that prohibits and criminalizes successful tactics of people’s movements throughout history.

HB1 criminalizes the use of public roads for marches and demonstrations, it revokes bail for protesters, and it stifles people’s budgets. HB1 has been deemed favorable by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety’s Subcommittee and is currently being fast-tracked through the legislature. The bill is currently in the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee in the Florida legislature.

Over 250 people gathered in front of the Duval County Courthouse to express their disapproval of HB1. The action began with the chant: “DeSantis, resign! Protesting is not a crime!” Maria Garcia, a JCAC organizer, explained that if HB1, hypothetically, passed this past summer, then many of Jacksonville’s protesters would have been arrested and jailed without bail. These protesters would still be awaiting their court date.

The JCAC was joined by the following local officials who also opposed this legislation: Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson, Councilman Garrett Dennis, Florida State Representative Tracie Davis, and Florida State Representative Angie Nixon. Angie Nixon said, “This bill is an attack on Black lives. This bill legalizes racism by hindering the freedom of speech for a select few.” Nixon emphasized that this bill is pointed. It is targeted at Black lives matter protesters, and it will cause the most harm to Black communities.

Monique Sampson, an SDS organizer, shouted, “It may seem like Ron DeSantis and his pawns have all the power, but we have the power of the people on our side, and we are ready to fight!”

The JCAC is calling on people to continue the fight by putting pressure on state representatives to “kill the bill”. The JCAC is calling on supporters to use this link to email state representatives in opposition to HB1: BIT.LY/STOPHB1.

You can follow more about the JCAC’s future plans at jaxtakesaction.org.

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