Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a controversial anti-protest bill into law in Florida. The bill, which was passed by the state legislature in April, increases penalties for certain types of protest-related offenses and makes it easier for law enforcement to crack down on protests.
Critics of the bill say it infringes on the First Amendment right to free speech and assembly, while supporters argue that it is necessary to prevent violence and protect public safety.
The new law includes provisions that make it a felony to participate in certain types of protests, such as those that involve damaging property or blocking traffic. It also grants civil immunity to people who drive through protests if they feel threatened.
The law has been met with protests and legal challenges, with civil rights groups and activists arguing that it will disproportionately impact marginalized communities and people of color.
Governor DeSantis defended the law at a press conference, saying, “We’re not going to let Florida go down the road that some of these other places have gone.” He added, “If you riot if you loot if you harm others, particularly law enforcement, you’re going to jail.”