Despite Governor’s Rejection, Dream Defenders Say Their Tallahassee Sit-In Is Not Going Anywhere

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After a futile demand for a meeting to repeal Florida’s “stand your ground” law, Dream Defenders, a civil rights group, said Friday they will remain at the capital until Gov. Rick Scott calls for the special session.

UF Dream Defenders Chapter President Nailah Summers sat in at a meeting with Scott Thursday night, in which he said he does not feel the stand your ground law should be changed, and denied the group’s request for a special session.

Summers said Scott did not display the leadership she expected, as he asked them to simply talk to their local legislators.

“He patted himself on the back for a lot of things in that meeting,” Summers said. “He also said, as far as racial profiling, that he’s not for it.  He told us to make some very specific suggestions, and also told us to go back to our local legislators.”

In response to his refusal, Summers and her chapter told the governor they will remain at the capital until they get the results they seek.  Fifteen members from the UF Dream Defenders chapter will be joined at the Capital on Friday by 60 children from a Tallahassee Boys and Girls Club.

“I’m not going to call a special session,” said Scott.  “But I’ll tell you right now I appreciate you and I look forward to seeing you again.”

The members of UF Dream Defenders who remain in Gainesville will hold a Saturday rally in honor of Trayvon Martin, whose murder sparked the group’s movement for repeal of the stand your ground law.  Summers said she hopes the rally will bring the community together, and continue the discussion of racial profiling in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial verdict.

“While we’re here (in Tallahassee) trying to get them to pass a Trayvon Martin civil rights act, we also want to do work locally,” Summers said.

The march will begin at noon at the Charles W. Duval Elementary School and go to the MLK Recreation Center in Gainesville.

About Kayla Rumpfeldt

Kayla is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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