Jacksonville activist groups travel to State Capitol to protest HB1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Local Jacksonville activist groups, The Northside Coalition and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, traveled to the State Capitol to protest House Bill 1, on the first day of the 2021 legislative session.

Action News Jax first told you about HB1 last month.

If signed into law, it would put new penalties in place during future protests.

Related: Understanding HB1: Governor DeSantis’ Proposed Protest Bill

During the 2021 State of the State address, Governor DeSantis specifically referred to, “riots that broke out across the nation last year and “cities ruined by violent mobs.”

“Nothing disorderly happened in the state of Florida. There were no riots, there were no cities left smoldering in ashes. There were no mobs here in Florida,” said Ben Frazier, of The Northside Coalition.

Governor DeSantis first presented the idea for this protest legislation last fall, following Black Lives Matter protests in the summer.

“Working with President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls and law enforcement groups across the state, we have proposed the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement reforms in the nation,” Governor DeSantis said during his address.

The Northside Coalition and Jacksonville Community Action Committee made a trip to Tallahassee, because they want lawmakers to understand how serious they are about not wanting to see this bill get approved.

“This legislation is a waste of time. It’s simply designed to appeal to people’s passions and their anger against the Black Lives Matter Movement,” Frazier said.

The legislation is still in the beginning stages, but right now the proposed legislation includes:

  • Upgrading penalties for illegal actions during riots
  • Making it a felony to destroy any memorial in the state
  • Limiting a city’s ability to re-direct funds from police to social programs

To read more about the bill and to hear from lawmakers who are for and against this proposed bill, click here.

To read the full transcript of Governor DeSantis’ 2021 State of the State Address, click here.

Local News: ‘Hurts us more than anything,’ says sister of woman found in Black Creek

The bill was has already been passed by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee.

The next stop if the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 3 at 4:00 P.M.