DeSantis Sends Florida Troopers to Palestinian Protests

DeSantis Sends Florida Troopers to Palestinian Protests

Florida responds to wake of college protests

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
May 11, 2024

All eyes have been on college campuses as young people along with outside agitators across America have protested the Israeli-Hamas conflict.  However, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has sent Florida state troopers to control pro-Palestinian protestors.

Top officials have confirmed that the Florida governor has directed the Florida Highway Patrol to respond to these protests.  "On countless occasions, campus and local law enforcement has requested the assistance of Florida Highway Patrol. And on countless other occasions, we have proactively assisted campus and local law enforcement," said Dave Kerner, executive director of the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles, which oversees the highway patrol.

Kerner further clarified that all of these proactive instances were at the direction of Governor DeSantis.  The governor himself actually hosted a press conference at Florida's flagship university, the University of Florida.

DeSantis made comments at the University of Florida on campus where pro-Palestinian protests have continued for a consecutive 15 days.  While the governor and his administration spoke about Florida's response to protests, protestors could be heard yelling chants in favor of Palestine.

Last week a total of 37 protestors were arrested across the campuses of UF, FSU, USF and UNF.  Florida first responders even deployed the use of tear gas to quell protestors.

For DeSantis, this is a battle against antisemitism and is proud of the job Florida has done in combatting these demonstrations in comparison to "elite" colleges like USC in California.  The governor stated last week, "elite colleges and universities that have allowed themselves to be overrun with encampments, graffiti as well as a lot of really nasty antisemitism."

Protests have sparked the Constitutional question recently of how far the right to speech and assembly go.  Conservatives like Governor DeSantis have taken the approach that your speech and assembly rights are not a hall pass to disturb the public.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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