Judge overturns DeSantis law against protest


prohibited by law “Deliberately participating in violent public disorder” but failed to specify what it was Mail I mentioned from Walker’s rule. Is it enough to passively stand near violence? he wrote. “What if you keep protesting when violence breaks out? What if that protest is just standing with a banner while others around you fight? Does it depend on whether your sign expresses a pro- or anti-law enforcement message? How about depicting violence? What if you’re going to leave upset and give the naughty a water bottle to wash the tear gas from his eyes?”

ACLU Florida Books In new version About the lawsuit, which she said “targets black protesters and their allies demanding racial justice, and has already slowed protest activity among black organizers in Florida.”

The activists stated in the lawsuit:

The law is riddled with constitutional flaws. By defining new protest-related offenses, and modifying definitions of terms such as “riot” to go beyond their historical and legal roots, Florida now allows for the arrest, detention, and prosecution of protesters who are not engaging in criminal behavior, but rather who simply participate in certain protests. At the same time, the law sets mandatory minimums for certain crimes and prohibits the release of bail for detainees – ensuring that peaceful protesters unjustly detained remain in custody for long periods of time. The law also allows those who intentionally wound or kill protesters to escape civil liability for their conduct. The law includes new offenses, as written and intended, that will apply to basic free speech activities such as electronic publication of the name and email address of a state legislator or sheriff – public figures – on the Internet. The enactment of these broad and vague crimes, along with the heavy penalties for existing crimes, serves exactly what was intended – namely, to silence black people and their allies protesting racial injustice.”

Ultimately, Walker’s decision to deem the law unconstitutional in a 90-page ruling supports activists’ interpretation of the law. “If this court does not order law enforcement, the lawless acts of a few rogue individuals could effectively criminalize the protected speech of hundreds, if not thousands, of law-abiding Florida residents,” Walker wrote.

DeSantis said in a media appearance that he plans to appeal Walker’s decision. “We will win that on appeal,” he said. “I guarantee we will win that on appeal.”

Democrat and State Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is running for governor, called the law “dangerous and discriminatory” in a media statement. “Today’s injunction is a victory for First Amendment rights for Florida citizens, as it impedes enforcement of a dangerous and discriminatory law,” she said. “We have now seen three court decisions in the span of several days in which the judicial system has confirmed what we have known for so long: the governor’s continued attempts to strengthen the arm and silence opponents are unconstitutional.”

Related: Florida governor rewrites bill to silence Black Lives Matter in response to Capitol riots

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