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First Coast

Critics Question How New Florida Protest Law Is Being Enforced

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Marta Lavandier
/
Associated Press
Demonstrators, many of them Cuban exiles, expressed support for Cubans on the Palmetto Expressway, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Miami.

Protesters across Florida have been demonstrating in solidarity with Cubans who are demanding an end to the nation’s communist dictatorship. In one case they blocked an expressway in Miami this week.

Meanwhile, critics of a new Florida law have said it is conspicuously not being enforced against the Cuban protesters.  ACLU of Florida Executive Director Micah Kubic believes the law is about criminalizing only particular voices.

“As the events of this week demonstrate this is a law that is really subjective and allows law enforcement to decide when they’re going to protect the First Amendment and when they’re not, and that is one of the big problems with it; is that they’re so subjective,” Kubic said on Thursday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.  

Among other things, the new law makes it a third-degree felony to block traffic or obstruct roadways during a protest.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made it a priority during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. Now, groups including the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville are seeking an injunction in federal court to try and block the law.

The full interview with Kubic can be heard on the encore of Thursday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross at 8 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9. 

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.