This year, as politicians vie for elected office in the Sunshine State, we - Black, immigrant and poor young people from Pensacola to the Keys - have launched our own agenda for the future of Florida. In 2018, we were killed in our classrooms and on street corners. We were locked inside Florida’s prisons and the keys were thrown away. We live in a state with more billionaires than almost anywhere in the country, yet, our parents and our teachers didn’t have the basic resources they needed to keep us safe.
This ends today. In 2018, we aren't demanding "change" or "hope", though both are welcome. We are demanding that our elected representatives put our safety before corporate profits. The Freedom Papers is our vision for a Florida that is able to serve the everyday needs of its people. Our state spends $55,000 a year to jail our children, and only $7,000 a year to educate them. They tell us they don’t have money for raises, for books, for food stamps and for housing. What they don’t tell us is that these resources have been stolen from us by big corporations like prison giant the GEO Group and murder lobby the National Rifle Association. They have bought-off our elected officials to build a Florida that serves their needs and turning our state into a for-profit police state at the expense of the safety of our children.
We can live in a state -- in a country -- where no child is left alone, in the cold, or behind bars, where children feel free and safe when they walk to the store, play in the park, or are on their way to school in the morning. We can live in a state where parents and teachers are given everything they need to support the raising of our children. We don’t have to let another parent lose their child to a bullet, a badge or a dollar sign. This Florida is possible, but only with a drastic shift in our politician’s priorities - one that values the needs of every day people, rather than fattening the wallets of a few.
Today, we ask that you choose to support this vision. We want a state and country that keeps its children safe, a Florida and U.S. that gives everyday people - who have been forced to struggle for far too long just to survive - their Freedom Papers.
On Friday, September 10th, at a follow up protest aimed at having a representative from the Hillsboro County Sheriff’s Office speak to the protestors and family and explain how the investigation is going regarding the death of Lavonia, Tampa Police Department endangered the whole group of protestors and arrested two of our members, Stuart from our Bay Area Dream Defenders SquaDD and our Field Director, Char Singleton. As the protesters made their way from one side of the Police Department to the other, Tampa PD created a human wall made up of officers and bicycles. The protesters merely walked around that wall, as the Tampa PD formed the second wall, they began to shove protestors to the ground using their bodies and bicycles.
If you're as mad as we are about this injustice, help our members defend themselves from these attacks by donating to the legal help fund right now. At this point, every bit counts.
Not far from the scene, Char was on the sidewalk assessing the situation and asking witnesses to record when Police approached her and told her she could not stand on the sidewalk. She explained this was her right then, moments later after she evaded the hands of a police officer, four officers approached her and aggressively arrested her.
As she was screaming for help, Stuart saw her being arrested and ran over to make sure she was okay, that was when 6 police officers tackled Stuart while he had his hands up and was not resisting.
They were both arrested. They were both charged. They were both targeted.
Stuart and Char are out now, but are facing serious charges. We ask that you support them and donate to help with legal support in the form of legal representation and any court fees associated to both their cases.
All donations will be tagged under a legal support fund that will directly go to helping our members get legal help in situations like the one Char and Stuart are facing. The organization will not benefit from nor use these funds for any operational purposes.