The Florida anti-riot bill goes to Governor DeSantis for signature. What it is and what’s in the bill are discussed with political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, Ph.D.
As we wrote the other day, anti-protest laws are sweeping throughout the country. As note by the Associated Press, the Governor said in a statement that:
“This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished”
It is a safe bet to say that the left and right would both agree that violence should be met with consequences. This would include both lawmakers and citizens of both parties, as well as independents. But after a hot debate, the bill passed and was sent to the governor’s desk for signature.
Opponents to the bill say that “provisions in the measure will criminalize nonviolent protests.” Meanwhile, the GOP majority rejected a second amendment proposed by Democrats.
As noted by the Miami New Times:
Originally proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in September as the Combatting Violence, Disorder, and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act, the two companion bills in the state Senate and House of Representatives attempt to crack down on protesters deemed to be participating in a “riot” or “unlawful assembly” and limit the rights of local governments to reduce police budgets.
Florida Anti-riot bill
On the surface, it all sounds reasonable. But when you dig deeper, the state is taking a lot of controls away from towns, cities, and counties to deal with policing in their distinct jurisdictions. But aside from the obvious opponents, there were some unexpected opens too, including environmental groups:
“It’s a very disturbing turn of events in Florida to see our leaders moving in the direction of fascism,” Lopez tells New Times. “The threat to environmentalists may not be obvious, but the point [of these bills] is to squash the First Amendment rights of people who want to speak out. It might be someone protesting for racial equality or someone speaking out for clean water.”
All eyes have been on Florida as similar bills are introduced and debated across the country.
IN THIS EPISODE
Dr. Rossi appears on WINK News to discuss the Florida Anit-Riot bill