In response to the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, the Dream Defenders camped out in the Florida capitol in the hopes to force Governor Rick Scott and Florida lawmakers to hold a special session to review and repeal “stand your ground” laws. Late last week, they achieved “a critical first step” as lawmakers now agreed to hold hearings to review the ALEC sponsored law.
Via The Miami Herald:
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford announced Friday that he will order hearings this fall on the state’s “stand your ground” law, a victory for the young protesters known as the Dream Defenders who have spent the past two weeks protesting at the Capitol.
“It’s a critical fir
st step,” said Phillip Agnew, executive director of the Dream Defenders. “We’ve been here for three weeks. We know Democracy takes time. Progress takes time.”
They shouldn’t celebrate too hard. Weatherford assigned the task of chairing the hearings to a staunch supporter of the law, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach.
“I don’t support changing one damn comma of the stand your ground law,” Gaetz said Friday. “It would be reactionary and dangerous to make Floridians less safe to pacify uninformed protesters.”
So clearly, it’s nowhere near a complete victory, because the student group was requesting a special session and the passage of The Trayvon Martin Act, but it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at and it is something tangible that has resulted from their tireless efforts. It’s not yet time to break out the confetti but it’s certainly a moment when we acknowledge their efforts with tweets of solidarity and money to finance their continued protests at the capitol.