TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – Florida Democrats are responded to the signing of HB 1, the controversial anti-rioting legislation, Monday.
They are decrying the new anti-rioting law, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment.
“You have just declared war on the First Amendment in the State of Florida,” said State Sen. Shevrin Jones.
Florida Democrats also argue the bill will have racial implications, suggesting it will be used to silence the voices of those protesting for racial justice and policing reform.
“The day that the jury is going to deliberate about Derek Chauvin and his guilt, it is not lost on me that today is the day that they decided to sign this bill into law,” said Rep. Michele Rayner.
They’re encouraging Floridians to push back.
“The good people across this great state will resist. We will hit the streets, following Congressman John Lewis’ advice to never ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani.
While some Democrats are only calling on corporations to voice opposition to the law, the Black Caucus is calling for corporations to boycott the state.
“The same people who are being disenfranchised are the same individuals who shop at these places, who patronize these businesses. And so the only way Florida is going to start feeling some of this is to start doing what happened in the Carolinas and what happened in Georgia, where you start hitting them where their pockets are,” said Jones.
Republicans have said the bill only targets violent rioters, not peaceful protesters.
“In Florida, we are taking an unapologetic stand for the rule of law and public safety. We are holding those who incite violence in our communities accountable, supporting our law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe and protecting Floridians from the chaos of mob violence.”
The courts will likely have the final say on whether the law goes too far.