Politics | January 12th, 2019

Floridians Already Fed Up With DeSantis

By: A'nire Glenn
Floridians Already Fed Up With DeSantis

“We’re fed up!” “We’re watching!”

Booming chants, blown horns and the collective stamping from high heels, hard boots and athletic sneakers could be heard parading down Monroe Street while disgruntled protesters marched.

On January 8, 2019 members of Dream Defenders, Power U Center for Social Change, The New Florida Majority, The Transgender Awareness Project and Planned Parenthood united to march from Florida A&M University’s Eternal Flame to the Tallahassee Capitol.

The People’s Inauguration, the name of the protest was led toward the Capitol building in opposition to Florida gubernatorial winner Ron DeSantis’ inauguration.

Leading the march the entire mile and a half distance was Madame Renita Holmes, a Miami-Dade native.

As the march proceeded, Holmes used a brown wooden cane to direct the 50-strong mass of people following her, swaying it from left to right to give turn signals the entire trip.

“The movement is in. This is the rally of Tally of we the people. Grassroots have always lead, that’s why we are here today,” Holmes said.

“We are going to be pushing for a state that is just and fair where everyone can be free and we believe Ron DeSantis doesn’t represent that,” Serena Perez, statewide organizer for The New Florida Majority said. “He represents a white supremacy agenda that is interested in keeping our people down.”

Many believed action was necessary.

“No matter who [the governor] is, we still have the power. We still can determine our futures and our children’s future. It’s up to us to be out here and not sit back and watch,” Jonel Edwards said.

Edwards is the co director of Dream Defenders, an activist organization.

The ralliers were made up of diverse faces — people of color, young, old and more. One lady sat on her walker holding a sign that read “old white women for 4 justice.”

Paige Parks held a sign that read “Trans lives matter.”

As a trans Floridian and a member of The Transgender Awareness Project, Parks wanted observers to know that she is a Floridian who has a voice.

“I’m here because I’m trying to bring awareness to the transgender community because I know that the Republicans are trying to erase the transgender community in all itself,” Parks said.

“Transgender people are here, especially transgender people of color. I want people to know that we are regular folks like yall.”

As participants of the march beat on empty paint buckets, blew whistles and held a sign saying “FLORIDA FOR ALL!,” one organizer spoke about systems in place to benefit all Floridians.

As many working professionals and college students tread to the Capitol to attend the inauguration festivities, one protester chose to skip a day of high school.

Thomas Bryant, 17, came from Miami with his mother and organization, Power U Center for Social Change, to attend the march.

“Ron DeSantis isn’t giving us what we really want. He’s actually doing bad for us in the black and brown community and we can’t stand for that,” Bryant said.

67-year-old Deborah Carter also travelled from Miami.

“I’m here to make sure all the issues we brought before [DeSantis] are really put into action. We need him to know that we do care and we are watching him,” Carter said.

Symbolically, some of the protesters held big plastic eyeball props signifying that they were watching DeSantis. Some held a sign saying “WE WILL BE WATCHING YOU!”

Although Ron DeSantis is officially the governor of Florida, these Floridians will not give up their fight for a Florida for all.