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Two Prominent Florida Democrats Arrested!

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Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried and State Senate minority leader Lauren Book were arrested Monday night at Tallahassee City Hall during a protest of the Florida Senate passing a six-week abortion ban.

The Florida Senate voted 26-13 to pass a six-week abortion ban.

Tallahassee police took the two prominent Democrats into custody with nearly a dozen other protestors.

Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida, Florida National Organization for Women, and Bans off Miami were reportedly some of the organizations behind the protest.

Florida Planned Parenthood Action shared footage of the arrests:

WESH 2 provided details:

Nikki Fried, the chair of the state Democratic Party, and state Sen. Lauren Book were taken into custody by Tallahassee police. They were charged with misdemeanor trespassing after a warning.

Fried and Book were part of a group of protesters who set up in a park in front of Tallahassee City Hall, which is across the street from the state Capitol. They were sitting in a circle singing songs when police made them leave.

Tallahassee police say the protesters had been told they could not be in the park all night and that anyone there after sundown would be subject to arrest. Authorities say most people did leave at nightfall, but 11 refused.

“Everything was done peacefully. There had been communication with law enforcement throughout the course of the day. There was no disruption of even noise ordinances,” Fried said

CBS Miami added:

In a news release, the Tallahassee Police Department said that protesters against the abortion ban were told they would have to leave after sunset, but 11 people refused to go and were arrested for trespassing.

Both Booke and Fried were charged with trespassing on property after a warning.

“You know, there are certain things that are just worth fighting for. And this isn’t about the two of us. It’s not even about the women who were arrested tonight. It was about protecting women across the state,” said Fried after her arrest.

“Because every single day in our state right now, you’re seeing atrocious things happening in Tallahassee out of the capital, taking away our freedoms, taking away a woman’s right to choose, making it less safe in our streets. After the governor signed that, the permitless carried today and every single day in Tallahassee, it is getting worse and worse for the people of our state. And so we’re going to continue to fight,” she added.

Sen. Book said, “We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk and in this situation that meant sitting alongside individuals who are protesting,” she continued, “This is not a ploy. This is not a spectacle any more than any of the other things that we do every single day, every single day in this body, every simple time we show up and do the work. Those aren’t stunts,” Sen. Book said.

Fried posted a $500 bond, while Book was released without bond, according to court documents.

Fried is set to be arraigned on May 18, while Book will be back in court on April 27.


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