Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Progressives Send Open Letter to Florida Democratic Party on Right to Protest

Florida progressives sent an open letter to the Florida Democratic Party on upholding the right to protest, after they say a Palestinian protester was arrested at the Leadership Blue Gala, the main organizing event for the FDP convention. Progressives from around the country joined the letter as well.

“We call on the Florida Democratic Party to intercede in dropping the charges pressed on all protestors involved in the civic duty of generating change,” the open letter from various Florida progressives states.

After what they called a “peaceful demonstration,” Florida Democrats responded. The political demonstration happened during Senator John Fetterman’s keynote address at the Florida Democratic Party’s event in Orlando.

“If we are going to call for peace, let’s do it peacefully,” FDP Chair Nikki Fried said. “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.”

The political divide within the Democratic Party over Israel and Palestine is another sign of possible trouble ahead of the 2024 elections.

The growing global concern over state repression of peaceful protests necessitates action at all levels to uphold and strengthen the right to dissent,” the progressive letter said. “From bans and restrictions to unjust arrests, violations of this right persist. Furthermore, advancements in technology have altered protest dynamics, posing new challenges to rights protection.”

Here is the full open letter to the Florida Democratic Party:

Upholding the Right to Protest: An Open Letter to the Florida Democratic Party

In the past few weeks, college campuses globally have witnessed a surge of demonstrations led by supporters of Palestine, including both students and faculty. These protests are denouncing Israel’s military actions in Gaza, which have resulted in the loss of over 34,000 lives. Across numerous universities, demonstrators are advocating for their institutions to cut off all forms of financial and academic association with Israel, including divestment from companies connected to the country.

The right to public protest is the heartbeat of a free society. It serves as the indispensable channel for airing grievances, challenging authority, and ensuring voices are heard. Public demonstrations have historically catalyzed change, often confronting brutal suppression. The freedom to dissent and protest is fundamental to societal health, fostering accountability and allowing citizens to influence policy. Peaceful protests are not just legitimate expressions but also crucial defenders of human rights, amplifying marginalized voices and confronting established powers.

However, despite legal protections, many face violent repression for exercising this right. Instead of stifling dissent, it’s imperative for governments to heed the calls of their citizens, particularly regarding issues like genocide and interventionism. Attempts to quell protests threaten the very essence of democracy and impede social progress.

The growing global concern over state repression of peaceful protests necessitates action at all levels to uphold and strengthen the right to dissent. From bans and restrictions to unjust arrests, violations of this right persist. Furthermore, advancements in technology have altered protest dynamics, posing new challenges to rights protection.

Multiple activists and students have been arrested in Florida over the past weeks. “If a Marine Corps Veteran can’t peacefully protest against war and genocide, then who can?” Asked Kyle Mitchell, United States Marine Corps 2014-2018 who also served in California, Afghanistan, New Jersey, and  Georgia.  On May 4, 2024, During Leadership Blue, the main organizing event for the Florida Democratic Party convention; a Palestinian protester was attested as well.

A free society embraces dissent, understanding its pivotal role in fostering change without resorting to extreme measures. Disruptive protests, while met with criticism, have historically driven significant social transformations. We call for protest to remain peaceful without ignoring the urgency and effectiveness of disruptive action.

We call on the Florida Democratic Party to intercede in dropping the charges pressed on all protestors involved in the civic duty of generating change.

In essence, the right to protest is non-negotiable in a democratic society. Those who seek to suppress it, jeopardize not only the democratic process, but also the lives and liberties of those they claim to protect.


Carolina Ampudia; President of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Broward County, DPCF, Democratic Socialists of America, Labor Community Alliance of South Florida, PDPR; Broward County, Florida

Kyle Mitchell; President of the Duval Progressive Caucus; Duval County, Florida

Nadia Ahmad; Elected DNC member for Florida. Chair of the Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition; Seminole County, Florida

Ricky Ly; Orange County Board member; Orange County, Florida 

Dakin Weekley; State Committeeman for Monroe County DEC; Monroe County, Florida  

Michael Bonacolta. President of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. Lee County Florida

Farima Iqbal-Zubair, Chair, California Democratic Progressive Caucus

Amar Shergill,  Chair Emeritus, California Democratic Progressive Caucus

Samir Kakli; President of the South Florida Muslim Federation; Broward County, Florida.

Aamir Ali; Emgage; Broward County, Florida

Maxx Fenning; Florida Youth Council, Broward County, FL

Trish Brown; Chair of Power Up People; Leon County, Florida

Khalid Mirza; Chair of the Pakistan American Cultural Society of Florida Inc; Broward County, Florida

C Whiteside-Curry, Chair of the Caring 4 Justice Cause Charity Foundation; Gadsen County, Florida

Sonya Bykofsky; Chair of the Lenox Town Democratic Committee; Berkshire County, Maryland

Matt Fleming; Brevard County, Florida

Corey Shearer; Broward DEC, Committeeman; Brevard County, Florida

David Coleman; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Hillsborough; Hillsborough County, Florida

Neng Caroline Abidin; Democratic Party; DSA; Brevard County, Florida

Sameerah Hingoo; CodePink; Broward County, Florida

Salah Giawashi; President of the TEK NET; Florida

Salaheddin Giawashi; Chair of the Gulf Coast Transport; Bay County, Florida

Rizwan Ali; Jewish Voices for Peace; Florida 

Amanda Rose, Jewish Voices for Peace; Miami Dade County,Florida 

Sabrina Duty; ACLU; Volusia County, Florida

Anna Khan; President of the PAMM Upper; Merion County, Pennsylvania 

William H. Davis; Leon DEC, and elected Delegate 2 CD to 2020 DNC; Leon County, Florida

Semir Purisic; President of the Bosniak Political Group; Stamford County, Connecticut

Pua Alii Lum; President of the MYLEH Soulution; Kansas

Wesley Chau; South Florida AFL-CIO; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Mike Strohofer; Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Broward; Broward County, Florida

Ahmed Bedier; President of the United Voices; Florida

Bob Horner; President of the Partners for Peace; Florida 

Humaira    Afzal; Precinct Captain and Precinct & Field Director (Hillsborough DEC); Board Member (Hillsborough Progressive Caucus); YIMBY Tampa; Hillsborough County, Florida

Lorenzo Canizares; Chair of the Labor-Community Alliance of South Florida; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Angel Montalvo; President of the People’s Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Liano Sharon; Elected DNC member for Michigan; Ingham County, Michigan

Saba Ali    CAIR Florida; Board member; Orange County, Florida 

Chris Horne; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Broward County; Board member; Broward County, Florida

Dan O’Neal; Arizona Democratic Party, Progressive Council; Arizona

Mongi Dhaouadi; USCMO-CAN; Board member; Fairfax County, Virginia 

Russell Giambrone; Board member, Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida; DPCTB Board member; Hillsborough County, Florida

Isabel Ruano; Immigrant Action Alliance; Board member; Leon County, Florida

Morgan    Gianola; Progressive Caucus of Miami Dade Miami Dade Board member; Miami Dade DEC; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Jen Cousins, Orange County, Florida

Martha Schoolman; Miami-Dade DEC, UFF-FIU, Coral Gables Democratic Club; Board member, member; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Ramón Pereira Bonilla; Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Democratic Environmental Caucus; Board member; Orange County, Florida 

Saba Ali; CAIR Florida; Board member; Orange County, Florida 

Jennifer Barrett; Democratic Socialists of America, DPCF Board member, Orange County PCP; Orange County, Florida 

Anita Carson; Rainbow Ridge LGBTQ Dems Board member; Polk County, Florida

David Wright; PDA member, PFA-CA officer, San Diego County Dem Party Metro Caucus Secretary, Indivisible and Sierra Club, Board member; San Diego, California 

Christopher Bajor; Broward Democratic Socialists of America; Broward County, Florida

Jorge Rodríguez Martínez; Broward Democratic Socialists of America    ; Broward County, Florida

Alex Boardman; Democratic Party; Broward County, Florida

Taarik Rahaman; Broward County, Florida

Tammy Lettieri; Democratic Party; Broward County, Florida

Linda Zito; Broward County, Florida

Sebastian Seithel; Buncombe County, North Carolina

Nader Barakat; California

Donna Ellington; Demand Universal Healthcare – DUH; Charleston County, South Carolina

Haseeb Toor; Duval County, Florida

Gin DeRoma; Native Plant Society; Duval County, Florida

Tracey Bingham; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida; Duval County, Florida

Manal Barakat; EP; Florida

Fawz Saf; Dem party; Florida

Summer Glenn; Florida

Joseph Nall; Polk County, Florida

Azmia Ricchuito; Code PINK South Florida, Abandon Biden, People for Palestine, End to Genocide Coalition; Palm Beach County, Florida

Jeanne Santana; Florida Democratic Party; Broward County, Florida

Islam Sidky; Florida

Nasra Elgawly; Democratic party; Hudson County, New Jersey

Fazia Abrahim; Florida Democratic Party; Florida

Hatem Abou-Senna;Orange County, Florida

Candis Roby; Medicare4all; Seminole County, Florida

Aj Khursheed; Florida

Jean Wilson; Democratic Party; Bay County, Florida

Adam Baumel; Broward County, Florida

Robinson Nunez; Broward Democratic Socialists of America; Broward County, Florida

Sean McNally; Duval County, Florida

Derek Werner; Democratic Party; Duval County, Florida

Marcus Sánchez; Florida Rising; Duval County, Florida

Arsenia Reilly-Collins; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Glee Nam; Labor Community Alliance of South Florida; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Ami Kassem; Orange County, Florida

Aasiya Hassan; Orange County, Florida

Mike Budd; United Faculty of Florida; Palm Beach County, Florida

Mohamad Khatib; Democratic party; Pasco County, Florida

Janet Smith; Democratic Women’s Club; Florida, Polk County 

Jill Sheridan; Palm Beach DEC; Palm BeachFlorida, USA

Amany Hassan; CAIR; Broward County, Florida

Marcos Lodato; Broward Democratic Socialists of America; Broward County, Florida

Mahmood Hassan; Florida.  Polk county 

Andrew Price; Democratic Socialists of America; Duval County, Florida

Eric Wicinski; Democratic Party; Hillsborough, Florida

Sean Rowe; Democratic Socialists of America; Illinois, US

Frankie Malacaria; Action Together, NAACP, Democratic Socialists of America; Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania 

Rita DiSalvo; Lee County Democratic Party; Leen County, Florida

Kevin Carpenter; Leon County DEC; Leon County, Florida

Tavish Bryan; TCAC; Leon County, Florida

Matthew Kopka; Democratic Party; Leon, Florida

Amir Mertaban; Islamic Society of Orange County; Los Angeles, California  

Aliyah Khan; Loudoun County Democratic Committee; Loudoun County, Virginia 

Kimiyo Nakagosh; MSF; Montgomery County, Maryland

Amy Bookbinder; Hampshire County, Massachusetts

Hebel Morales; People’s Progressive Caucus of Miami Dade; Miami-Dade County, Florida

Carla Munday; Missouri 

Bennette Dibben; PeaceWorks Kansas City,Missouri

Jake MacLennan; Democratic Socialists of America; St. Louis City, Missouri

Syed Shareef; AMDC; Morris County, New Jersey

Omar Hasan; Human Being; Ohio

Loki Mole; FDP, OCDP, UCF YDemocratic Socialists of America; Orange County, Florida 

Farhi S; Florida Dems; Orange County, Florida 

Taj Johnson; PDA; Orange County, Florida 

Corey Hill; Partners for Palestine, Orlando Allies for Palestine; Orange County, Florida 

Madeline Clark; HRC Steering Committee Central Florida/Orlando; Orange County, Florida 

Sallie Riley; Democratic Party; Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Holzman; Codepink Jewish Voices for Peace; Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Eugene Holmes; We the people; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Jim Hannley; Democratic Party; Jobs With Justice; Arizonans for New Economy; National Writers Union; Salt of the Earth Labor College; Pima County, Arizona

Ken Kenegos; PDA, AZ Medicare for All Coalition; Pima County, Arizona

Joseph Sook; Democratic Party of Florida; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida; Pinellas County, Florida

Sohail Azeem; MedSys Health; Broward County, Florida

Arshad Syed; SJP; Sacramento County, California

Barbara Bocca; Democratic Party; San Mateo County, California

Sherry; Seminole County, Florida

Tarah Fuhrken; FREE Palestine; Shenandoah County, Virginia 

Dali Sakoglu; Texas

Jeanne Wolfe; Utah County, Washington

Noma Murtuza; Virginia

Aftab; Virginia

Yasir Saleem; ADAMS; Loudoun County, Virginia 

Anjum Javed; Virginia

Jerry Canterbury; Justice Dems, Our Revolution, PDA; Virginia

Lee V. Batterson; Clark County, Washington 

Elizabeth Wallace; Our Revolution; Volusia County, Florida

Samar Mady; Florida

Ahmad Sidd; ISPE; Moco County, Maryland

Shahid Ahmed; LCN; Dupage County, Illinois

Karima Ali; NMCA; Florida

Carol LaFleur; St. Johns County, Florida

Fatima Khanom; Pennsylvania

Rehana Shaik; Pennsylvania

Sohail Shaik; Pennsylvania

Patrick Blocher; USF Alum; Pennsylvania

Tharackandathil Shanavas; Rotary Club of Gaithersburg, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ACLU,  Democrat Party; Montgomery County, Maryland

Noshin Zahedi; Loudoun County, Virginia

Saqib Shakil; Pennsylvania

Rachel Hart; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania     

Saleh Mubarak; ICT; Hillsborough County, Florida

Yawer Nensey, M.D.; Hillsborough County, Florida

Taylor McGinnis; Democratic  Party; Hillsborough County, Florida

Fannie Colindres; Port St Lucie County, Florida

Valerie Hernandez; Democratic Party of Florida; Palm Beach County, Florida

Anna Perkins; Democratic Party; Mennonite Action; Christians for a Free Palestine; Healthcare Workers for Palestine; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania

Colleen Stevenson; Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Hisham Mohammad; Broward County, Florida

Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri; Cornell University, HCDEC; Hillsborough County, Florida

Margaret Cox; Martin County Democratic Club; Martin County, Florida

Erin Marshall; Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

John Fetterman; Democratic Party (for now); Bergen County, New Jersey (?)

Maryam Rahimi; Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Joanne Fleming; Green Party; Washington DC

Joaquín Cesar Pedroso; Miami Dade County, Florida

Tyler Barrett; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Tampa Bay; Hillsborough County, Florida

Mariam Fazal; ICNA; Virginia

Mona Elhal; Code pink; Los Angeles, California  

Fathiya Hassan; Fairfax County, Virginia

VinaMcDermott; Democratic  Party; New Haven County, Connecticut

Rizwan Ali; Jewish Voices for Peace; Miami Dade County, Florida

Brenda McDonald; Democratic Party; NL county, Connecticut

Hend Elsantaricy; Democratic Party; Connecticut

Wilfredo Amr Ruiz; FL American Muslim Democratic Caucus; Broward County, Florida

Robert Riddle; Board member of the MD4BDS, GSA LGBTQI+ & Allies, Citizens Police Advisory Committee; Hyattsville County, Maryland

Pauline Case; Democratic Party; Broward County, Florida

Bonita Chambers; SCDP, PDA; Sarasota County, Florida

Aseil Parker; Fairfax County, Virginia

Douglas; CF JWJ, Organize Now, FIRE; Orange County, Florida

Tamara Johnson; Alachua County, Florida

Beau Robichaux; Hillsborough County DEC; Hillsborough County, Florida

Mohammad Karim; Democratic Party; Connecticut

Isle Brown; Broward County, Florida

Lori Mentzer; Columbia County, New York

Amaan Khan; AMP; Broward County, Florida

Nadine Seiler; Charles County, Maryland

Cameron Driggers; FDP Youth Council; Alachua County, Florida

Michael Stumpg; Democratic Party; Virginia

Zahra Sahmoud; Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Sarwat Patel; CAPJ; Connecticut

Lynn Carr;  Miami Dade County, Florida

Maria Cheema; Democratic  Party       Connecticut

Naeem Moosa; ABC; Broward County, Florida

Ahmed  Behery; Connecticut

John Smith Jr.    Hazlet; Democrats; Monmouth County, New Jersey

Shahin Vohara; Doctors Against Genocide; Loudoun County, Virginia

Hoda Abu; New Haven County, Connecticut

Katherine Klima; Center City Madjid; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jocelyn Anderson; Community member disappointed by John; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kristen Amaya; Florida Democratic Party; Leon County, Florida

Yumna Hamid; Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Kathryn Elalouf; SPLC, WUSF, WEDU; Hillsborough County, Florida

Zain Mohammed; Democratic Party; Palm Beach County, Florida

Ahmet Taha; South Florida Muslim Federation; Broward County, Florida

Muzna Marzouq; Florida Democratic Party; Broward County, Florida

LuMarie Polivka-West; Florida Democratic; Leon County, Florida

Katy Davis; Florida Democratic Party; Alachua County, Florida

Zach Oberhausen; Escambia County, Florida

Johanna Falzone; Florida Democratic Party; Pasco County, Florida

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