“If this was easy we would have won by now,” saidGabriel Pendes, a Dream Defendersorganizer from Miami, to about 20 people during a training session for the sit-in protest going on over Florida’s “stand your ground” law.
The makeshift classroom is in the reception hall ofGov. Rick Scott’s office at the state Capitol in Tallahassee. The training was part of the agenda for the eighth day of protest, triggered by the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Scott met with protestors Thursday night and told them he would not grant their request for a special legislative session to repeal the self-defense law.
“I believe in our stand your ground law,” Scott told reporters Monday. “I appreciate the fact that people want to voice their concerns, they want their voices to be heard. I let them know that they can go talk to their legislators and let their legislators know what their concerns are.”
Scott sent Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters to meet with the demonstrators Monday. In a morning and an afternoon visit, Walters spoke about the department’s efforts to reduce the disproportionate number of minority contacts, racial profiling and other DJJ initiatives. However, she was unable to meet their demand for a special session.