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Florida Democrats Respond to Demonstration at Leadership Blue Event

This month, during Senator John Fetterman’s keynote address at the Florida Democratic Party’s annual Leadership Blue Gala, a peaceful demonstration occurred in response to the campus protests that were happening across the country.

Florida progressives were against pro-Israel Democrat Fetterman saying he “betrayed the trust of his constituents” for his support of Israel and statements regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

FDP Chair Nikki Fried said Senator Fetterman is a “powerful voice for the Democratic Party and embodies the spirit of Florida Democrats — never backing down from a fight.”

The Democratic Party event was held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando.

In response to the progressive demonstration, Cat Margaux, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Youth Council, Alexis Dorman, President of the Florida College Democrats and Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried released the following statements:

Statement from Cat Margaux, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party Youth Council: 

“As young people organize and protest, we must recognize, acknowledge, and champion our fundamental rights. The right to assemble, the right to protest – these are the foundational principles of democracy. Peaceful protests are not only lawful but necessary for fostering a thriving democratic society.

“It is crucial to dispel the harmful narrative equating youth protestors with rioters. Even in situations with escalating tensions, the use of excessive force is unacceptable. Democrats have denounced police brutalization in the past. We are a Party that must do it again.

“Democrats, party leaders, electeds, candidates, let’s stop just talking and start taking action. Be the ally that young people need you to be. We must rally behind our young leaders and ensure they have the support and platform they deserve. Together, let’s unleash the full force of our collective power, leaving no doubt that the Florida Democratic Party is not just the party of today, but the unstoppable force shaping the future.”

Statement from Alexis Dorman, President of the Florida College Democrats:

“This is a humanitarian crisis that many Arab, Jewish, and allied students feel, and are, impacted by. Their viewpoints should be taken with understanding, respect, and empathy.

“The unity and resilience demonstrated by students across Florida and beyond to advocate for causes they feel strongly about, since the last election, is commendable. Our collective dedication to advocacy has been met with challenges, yet young people always persist in the face of adversity.

“This is what Taking Back Florida is about.

“As we press forward in this mission to Take Back Florida, we should remember that young people are not just the future; but we are the driving force of change now. Our commitment to the Florida Democratic Party isn’t just a matter of political allegiance; it’s a recognition of the urgency of this moment.

“Young people understand that our actions today shape the trajectory of our state and nation tomorrow. So, let’s stand united because our collective future depends on it.”

Statement from Nikki Fried, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party:

“As a past student body president at the University of Florida and someone who has been arrested for peacefully protesting I fundamentally believe in our cherished rights and freedoms as Americans – to assemble, to protest, to use your voice.

Universities and colleges have always been an anchor for our democracy as sites of advocacy and the birthplace of movements.

That is the foundation of our democracy – and one we have to protect. But no one should feel unsafe on their college campus.

If we are going to call for peace, let’s do it peacefully. If we are going to disagree, let’s do it respectfully. If we are going to use our voices, let’s make sure we’re also listening – that’s what it means to be a Democrat and that is what this moment demands.”

Florida progressives sent an open letter to the FDP on upholding the right to protest.

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