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"Florida law now basically gives you a get out of lawsuits free card ...

if you run your car into protesters"

The Florida GOP just pushed through a dangerous new law that severely undermines our fundamental right to peaceful protesting.

Republicans claim this law is for the protection of law enforcement officers. But let me tell you something -- as a law enforcement officer for 27 years, my brothers and sisters and I worked to protect the people’s right to assemble. We stood with peaceful protesters – not against them – as part of one community.

After all, the United States of America was born out of protest: Our freedom to assemble peacefully is a bedrock that good law enforcement protects, not tears down. Republicans are yet again siding with law enforcement when it's politically expedient to them – this time, to allow legislation that allows for vehicular manslaughter against people protesting their extremist politics.

This just another example of Republicans resorting to their favorite tactic: Silencing the opposition to stay in power. In this instance, they’re making it more dangerous to protest by tokenizing law enforcement.

As my friend, John Lewis once said, "Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society."

We are witnessing attempts by so-called leaders who are trying to diminish our civil liberties. It's up to all of us to take action, to do our part. Thank you for speaking out today.

Congresswoman Val Demings

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