BREAKING: Dream Defenders Occupy Florida Gov. Scott’s Office
By Melanie Andrade; Vine by Max Berger; Edited by Isabelle Nastasia
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dream Defenders—the organization who organized a sit-in at the Sanford Sheriff’s department in 2012 demanding that George Zimmerman be arrested for the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin—have been occupying Governor Rick Scott’s office since Tuesday. 60 members of the organization of Black and Brown youth and students are currently sitting in and demanding an end to the school-to-prison pipeline in Florida and a repeal of Stand Your Ground laws.
I am a young, first generation, African-American woman. The ‘not guilty’ verdict delivered in the Zimmerman trial on Saturday reaffirm what many of us: it is open season here in Florida on Black and Brown youth by local officials, the police and vigilantes. Stand Your Ground laws hand men like Zimmerman a license to kill.
The Dream Defenders mobilized quickly after the verdict dropped for what we are calling Take Over Tuesday. Drawing up a petition, and organizing a rapid response across our state, we were prepared to take action and prove that young people are more organized than we are given credit for.
Upon entering the Capitol building on Tuesday morning, we waited for all 200 of us to get through security and walked to the Governor’s office, chanting “whose world is this? the world is ours! the world is ours! the world is ours!” all the way in.
I led the group into the office and approached the secretary. Everyone squeezed into Scott’s waiting room.
"We are here to speak with Governor Scott," I told the secretary.
He wasn’t in, of course, we knew this because he is in New York and was scheduled to be in New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon. The secretary did her best to reassure us (or herself) that she would get our message to him.
I told her: “we’ll wait.”
The Defenders have been occupying the office ever since with the intention of meeting with Governor Scott and having our demands met.
8:30PM EST UPDATE: Governor Scott has agreed to meet with the Dream Defenders and allies at 9PM. Watch live-stream here. More information to come.
Follow Melanie on Twitter @ThatMWord. Sign the Dream Defender’s petition demanding a “Trayvon Martin Law” here.