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As many as 14 demonstrators who stormed into Florida’s Capitol Building in Tallahassee on Wednesday and temporarily occupied Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) office were arrested and temporarily taken into custody, according to a report on Thursday.
RadarOnline.com noted that the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon and involved a group of protesters who belong to a group called Dream Defenders. The demonstrators managed to briefly occupy DeSantis’ office in the Capitol building, the report confirmed.
According to a spokesperson for the organization, Dream Defenders is a non-profit human rights group that was founded in 2013 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin. The spokesperson alleged that Florida police used the so-called “Dream Defenders rule” to detain members of the group.
The rule is a protocol created after Martin’s death that prohibits overnight stays at the state capitol.
“Gov. DeSantis and Republican lawmakers have chosen to attack many of Florida’s most vulnerable and historically marginalized communities with policies that attack who they are, who they love, and how and what they learn,” Dwight Bullard, a senior political advisor at the organization Florida Rising, who was also arrested, noted in a statement sent to RadarOnline.com.
“By virtue of being born, we are entitled to a real dignified democracy that gives us a say on our blocks, in our cities, in our schools, and the places we work,” said Nailah Summers-Polite, the co-director of Dream Defenders, said in a separate statement.
RadarOnline.com noted that initially, the demonstrators initially planned a “Freedom to Learn” protest, but then “altered” it to include other issues. However, they got into trouble after storming DeSantis’ office.
The “Dream Defenders,” a group of far-left activists, have occupied the Florida capitol building as revenge for DeSantis’ passage of his anti-woke policies relating to the teaching of CRT and pronoun enforcement in schools and colleges.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) May 4, 2023
14 protestors were arrested after storming Ron DeSantis’ office to confront the Florida governor.
The incident took place on Wednesday afternoon when a group of demonstrators, the Dream Defenders, occupied DeSantis’ Tallahassee office inside the Florida State Capitol building. pic.twitter.com/v6Mzz5KPvD
— D. Scott @eclipsethis2003 (@eclipsethis2003) May 4, 2023
In recent weeks, left-wing protesters in other states led by conservative lawmakers have been stormed as well, leading Republicans to make the comparison to the Jan. 6. storming of the U.S. Capitol Building, which has led to hundreds of arrests and convictions.
On Thursday, former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and three other members of the organization were convicted of the most serious charges today — seditious conspiracy — by a federal jury in Washington, D.C. for their involvement in the incident.
The defendants were accused of conspiring to keep former President Donald Trump in power following the disputed 2020 election. However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the sedition charge for defendant Dominic Pezzola, although he was convicted of other serious felonies related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
In February, “Trans Lives Matter” protesters occupied the state house in Oklahoma during Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) State of the State Address. According to videos, protesters were seen outside and inside the Capitol building chanting “this is our house” and “protect trans kids,” while holding signs that read “Protect trans rights” and “My body, my freedom,” Fox News reported.
#okleg happening now outside of the House floor:
Chants of “trans lives matter” pic.twitter.com/swzdgEKe9d
— Nick Camper (@nickcamper) February 6, 2023
“Minors can’t vote, can’t purchase alcohol, can’t purchase cigarettes. We shouldn’t allow a minor to get a permanent gender-altering surgery in Oklahoma,” the GOP governor said on the House floor, which led to a standing ovation from Republican lawmakers.
“That’s why I am calling on the Legislature to send me a bill that bans all gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors in the state,” he added. “As governor, I will never shy away from calling out right from wrong. I will not be intimidated by partisan interest groups or make decisions based on groupthink.”
And notably, in 2011 when thousands of pro-union demonstrators stormed the Wisconsin Capitol Building to stop a vote on collective bargaining reform during then-Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) administration, Democrats widely praised the effort, Washington Post columnist Marc Theissen noted in a column shortly after the Jan. 6 riots — which the vast majority of Republicans condemned.
Most conservatives have condemned the right-wing mob that assaulted the U.S. Capitol. But 10 years ago, Democrats embraced the left-wing mob that occupied the state Capitol in Madison. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the occupiers for an “impressive show of democracy in action” and tweeted as they assaulted the Capitol that she continued “to stand in solidarity” with the union activists. In other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.