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Central Florida Democrats Respond to HB1 Passage

Photo: Shevrin Jones
Photo: Shevrin Jones

Central Florida Democratic leaders called on Floridians to protest the passage of HB1, the so called “anti-rioting bill” today.

Sen. Victor Torres, who represents District 15 in Osceola and Orange County, says as a former cop he knows well that there are already rules in place to prevent violent rioting and looting. 

He says the new law is unnecessary and dangerous for people who want to peacefully protest police killings of young Black and brown people. 

"This is gonna inspire us because we have kids at home. We have grandkids at home. We have college students at home, who want to protest, who want to voice their opinion out here. This is not going to stop. And I hope they come by the thousands to protest up here what's going on, because the injustice has got to stop."

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Rep. Anna Eskamani joined the call for protests.

Eskamani who represents House District 47 in Orlando said the bill is part of an assault on Black Lives and the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Floridians. 

She says there will be challenges in the courts and Floridians won’t stop marching in the streets against the new law.

"Whenever Republican leadership try to take away our rights, the good people across this great state will resist. We will hit the streets, following Congressman John Lewis’s advice to never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in ‘good trouble’."

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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the "combating public disorder” bill into law today. 

It raises penalties for people charged in connection with violent riots, and for damaging or destroying monuments.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.