We Oppose HB1/SB484 and Reject This Power Grab by Governor Ron DeSantis

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If Congress cannot remove our rights to free speech and the right to peacefully assemble, why does Governor Ron DeSantis think he can?

Floridians, your right to assemble and your freedom of speech are under attack. The HB1/SB484 Combating Public Disorder bill currently making its way through the Florida legislature is nothing more than a power grab by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The right to assemble and the freedom of speech are both protected under the First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If Congress cannot remove our rights, why does Governor Ron DeSantis think he can?

It’s a power grab. It’s a dog whistle message intended to establish two separate paths of justice for Florida:

Those with a badge or privilege will be allowed to use a gun or car to injure or kill a protestor with no liability. "This legislation would have legalized the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville," Andrew Gillum tweeted, referring to the 2017 incident in which a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters during a Virginia "Unite the Right" rally.

Those without a badge or privilege will not be afforded bail if they are arrested for peacefully protesting, and will see increased penalties and jail-time. “Peaceful protesters could be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for ‘committing a riot’ even if they didn’t engage in any disorderly and violent conduct.”

Dissent is patriotic. This nation was built upon dissent, as the injustices of the many required a new path forward. Dissent has always pushed this country forward toward progress. “This proposed legislation is completely unnecessary. There are already criminal laws — both state and federal — that address rioting, insurrection, treason, assault, and battery. In fact, if this legislation passes, it would have a chilling effect on exercising one’s right to to peaceably assemble.”

Governor Ron DeSantis is afraid of accountability and progress and has chosen instead to silence dissent. This bill will further hinder police accountability and criminal justice reform, and serves only to embolden a military response to peaceful protesters.

Reject the power grab by Governor Ron DeSantis by taking 1 (one) minute and sending an instant message to Florida lawmakers that you oppose HB1/SB484 and reject his power grab by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Sources cited:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-anti-protest-bill-brigham-quince-20210216-5qiil6vzfbakbj244bw6v54fi4-story.html

https://www.aclufl.org/en/written-testimony-oppose-hb-1-and-sb-484-anti-protest-bill

https://www.newsweek.com/florida-governor-proposes-law-that-could-allow-drivers-run-over-mob-1533401

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-desantis-anti-protest-bill-prosecutor-20210210-6n44w542xrdrlh6ujc67edille-story.html

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/commentary/fl-op-com-schultz-florida-legislature-20210209-anbbizpjxbh4tok26jpxq4zkse-story.html