Miami, Fla.– Yesterday, the Florida Senate voted to pass a bill which would disproportionately target Black and brown communities. HB1/SB484 also referred to as the “anti-protest” bill, would expand police authority in deciding who can be arrested and charged with a felony for engaging in what state officials designate as protests. The bill, which would impose harsher penalties and sentencing for individuals who engage in peaceful actions, is a direct threat to Black and brown communities’ freedom of speech and right to assemble.
The bill has been sent to Governor DeSantis who is expected to sign it into law by April 23.
Nataly Chalco, Florida Youth Organizer of United We Dream, said:
“I am horrified by the racist anti-protest bill that passed in the Florida Senate yesterday, which aims to criminalize and endanger Black and brown communities. This bill, which is headed to Governor DeSantis’ desk to be signed into law, is a reflection of the cruel and distorted values our local elected officials stand for.
There is no denying that the anti-protest bill is a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement that rallied against police brutality and racism across Florida and nationwide. That the passage of this anti-protest bill comes on the heels of the murders of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo by police in Minnesota and Illinois only adds to the shame. Governor DeSantis has made it abundantly clear that his legislative priorities are fueled by racism and white supremacy and that HB1/SB484 is a further attempt to quell Black and brown communities who are taking action against state violence and fighting for justice. This bill jeopardizes the safety of Black communities, communities of color, and activists of all backgrounds. This is unacceptable! We will always fight to protect our communities, that’s why together, we must fight to repeal this bill as soon as Governor DeSantis moves forward to make it law.”