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To: Members of the Florida House and Senate

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

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

Sign this petition to members of the Florida House and Senate to oppose HB1/SB484 and reject this power grab by Governor Ron DeSantis.

This proposed law is a blatant attempt to criminalize peaceful protests advocating for racial justice and block police and criminal justice reform. We need fair and just police and criminal justice reform in Florida. The State Legislature has no business meddling in city budgets. And no law should impinge on my lawful right to peaceful assembly and protest.

As a signer to this petition we are putting on notice that any legislator who supports this bill we will work tirelessly to vote them out of office.

Why is this important?

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 sending a message to Florida lawmakers that you oppose HB1/SB484 and reject his power grab by Governor Ron DeSantis.

#DemandBetterFL

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


Reasons for signing

  • This is unacceptable. Even if a riot does become disorderly or violent, this bill provides law enforcement impunity for the arrest of individuals who never incited violence and were only peacefully protesting. It's an infringement of our Constitutional right to assemble peacefully!!
  • this bill is racist. and breaking our first amendment right.
  • The right to assemble and to protest peacefully are some of the most important foundational and bedrock rights in our country, and are protected in the First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. Hands off Governor!

Updates

2021-03-02 09:48:19 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2021-02-22 20:01:13 -0500

500 signatures reached

2021-02-19 16:38:45 -0500

100 signatures reached

2021-02-19 15:31:48 -0500

50 signatures reached

2021-02-19 15:03:48 -0500

25 signatures reached

2021-02-19 14:49:36 -0500

10 signatures reached