Tag Archives: Florida

Call Embraced for Prolonged Student Walkout Over Nation’s Refusal to Act on Guns

“How can we expect them to walk into the firing line every day?” asked one group in support for the proposal.

By Julia Conley  Published 6-1-2022 by Common Dreams

March for Our Lives in Manhattan, New York City, in March 2018. Photo: Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons/CC

As 21 families in Uvalde, Texas hold funerals for the 19 children and two adults who were killed in the shooting at Robb Elementary School last week, gun control advocates are grappling with the question of what it will take to stop gun violence, with some proposing that students and teachers hold the largest school walkout yet—one in which they would refuse to return to school until lawmakers pass far-reaching reforms.

With summer vacation approaching, Gal Beckerman wrote at The Atlantic Tuesday, “students should refuse to go back to school” in the fall without the passage of an assault weapons ban—a law which existed in the U.S. in the past and whose expiration correlated to a rise in mass shootings, according to researchers. Continue reading

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‘No Time to Waste’: New Nationwide March For Our Lives Protests Set for June 11

“Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased. Now is the moment we march again.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 5-26-2022 by Common Dreams

March For Our Lives student protest for gun control St. Paul, Minnesota March 7, 2018. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Four years, over 100 school shootings, and more than 170,000 U.S. firearm deaths after the first March For Our Lives rallies in 2018, the student-led gun control advocacy group announced Wednesday that it would stage a new nationwide day of protest on June 11 following Tuesday’s Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

“Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased,” March For Our Lives tweeted. “Now is the moment we march again.” Continue reading

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Progressives Vow to Fight as DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Protests at Florida Homes

“H.B. 1571 builds on the unconstitutional foundations of the anti-protest bill last year,” said one activist, “and only reaffirms our will to make sure our voices are heard in order to create a brighter future for the people of our state.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 5-17-2022 by Common Dreams

George Floyd protests in Miami, Florida on June 6, 2020. Photo: Mike Shaheen/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Critics are calling a new Florida law unconstitutional following Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of H.B. 1571, which bans protests outside homes, on Monday.

The new law, which has drawn comparisons to a separate statute effectively allowing the killing or wounding of protesters, makes “picketing or protesting” outside private residences a second-degree misdemeanor crime punishable by as many as 60 days behind bars, up to a $500 fine, and six months’ probation. Continue reading

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New GOP Laws ‘Will Devastate Abortion Access Across Large Parts of the Nation’

“Florida has been a critical haven for abortion access in the South, and this ban will decimate abortion access for Floridians and the entire region,” one group said after the governor’s signature.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 4-14-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Adam Fagen/flickr/CC

After Florida’s GOP governor on Thursday signed a 15-week abortion ban inspired by a contested Mississippi law that could soon reverse Roe v. Wade, pro-choice advocates warned of impacts across the region, given that the Sunshine State has long been “an oasis of reproductive care in the South.”

With Gov. Ron DeSantis’ support, Florida’s law is set to take effect this summer. His signature came after Republican state legislators in Kentucky on Wednesday overrode their Democratic governor’s veto of a similar bill and GOP Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday signed a near-total abortion ban. Continue reading

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‘Dangerous and Unprecedented’: Florida GOP Gives DeSantis Power to Draw Congressional Map

“The Florida Legislature’s decision to cede this decennial process of redrawing lines for congressional districts to Gov. DeSantis is undemocratic,” said the ACLU.

By Jake Johnson  Published 4-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2018 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature on Monday effectively handed Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis control over the process of drawing the state’s congressional map for upcoming U.S. House elections, a move that voting rights advocates decried as an “unprecedented and dangerous” abdication of responsibility.

Caving to pressure from the right-wing governor’s office, Florida’s state Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-10) and state House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-65) said in a joint statement that “at this time, Legislative reapportionment staff is not drafting or producing a map for introduction during the special session.” Continue reading

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1,100+ Banned Books Across 26 States: Report Shows ‘Shocking’ Censorship

“What is happening in this country in terms of banning books in schools is unparalleled in its frequency, intensity, and success,” said the director of PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program.

By Jake Johnson  Published 4-8-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Enokson/flickr/CC

A report published Thursday by the free expression group PEN America details an “alarming” and unprecedented surge in book banning across the United States, with 86 school districts in 26 states prohibiting more than 1,100 titles in classrooms and libraries over just the past eight months.

Titled Banned in the USA, the report finds that districts representing 2,899 schools with a combined enrollment of more than 2 million students banned 1,145 unique book titles by 874 different authors, 198 illustrators, and nine translators between July 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Continue reading

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Citing Likely Racist Motives, Federal Judge Blocks Florida GOP’s Voter Suppression Law

“At some point, when the Florida Legislature passes law after law disproportionately burdening Black voters, this court can no longer accept that the effect is incidental.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 3-31-2022 by Common Dreams

Civil rights defenders on Thursday welcomed a ruling by a federal judge who struck down parts of a Florida voter suppression law, calling racism “a motivating factor” in the GOP-backed legislation’s passage.

In a 288-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker blocked provisions of Florida’s Senate Bill 90, a massive attack on voting rights signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2020. The law empowers partisan poll watchers, imposes strict voter ID requirements, criminalizes so-called “ballot harvesting,” limits ballot drop boxes, and bans advocacy groups from handing out food or water to voters waiting in long lines. Continue reading

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‘This Law Will Not Stand,’ Say Equality Defenders as DeSantis Signs ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “has damaged our state’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place for all families,” said one rights advocate. “Worse, he has made schools less safe for children.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 3-28-2022 by Common Dreams

Community leaders, parents, kids, doctors, lawyers, assemble in front of the White House to protest the non-science based policy of segregating LGBTQ children in public schools based on the schools’ determination of their gender identity. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC

Rights advocates on Monday said they will continue to fight against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attacks on LGBTQ+ families after the Republican governor signed the so-called Parental Rights in Education bill that’s come to be known as the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” proposal.

After DeSantis signed the bill Monday, standing at a podium with a sign reading, “Protect Children,” the law will go into effect July 1. Continue reading

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Critics Warn Florida GOP Bill Designed to ‘Criminalize’ the Voting Process

“American exceptionalism and denial means that no one will admit it, but between book burning, abortion bans, criminalizing trans kids, the Supreme Court’s attack on voting rights, and now this, we are truly veering on fascism.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 3-10-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: ACLU

Florida is poised to establish a first-of-its-kind police force dedicated to stopping and investigating so-called “voter fraud” following the passage on Wednesday of a bill further overhauling the state’s voting system, a year after sweeping changes to election laws sparked outcry among voting rights advocates.

The Republican-led state House passed the new legislation, S.B. 524 in a vote of 76-41 on Wednesday, days after the state Senate approved the bill in a vote of 24-14. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had requested even more spending on an election police force than that $3.7 million plan that was passed, is expected to sign the bill. Continue reading

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Students Rally Against ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill at Florida Capitol

“Restricting discussion of queer people and erasing our identity within public schools will only exacerbate the pre-existing issues that LGBTQ+ youth face,” said one student protest organizer.

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 3-7-2022 by Common Dreams

Students and their supporters rallied at the Florida state Capitol in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022 as the state Senate began debating a so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Photo: MoveOn/Twitter)

Students, teachers, and supporters from across Florida flocked to the state Capitol in Tallahassee on Monday ahead of a state Senate debate of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill opponents say will have “devastating consequences” for LGBTQ+ youth.

As students and supporters chanted “we say gay” in downtown Miami before boarding buses Sunday night for the eight-hour trip to the state capital, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told WSVN that “it’s shameful what’s going on in Tallahassee.” Continue reading

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