Atlanta, GA – On August 9, the Tampa 5’s third court date, Atlanta community members gathered to protest in demand that charges be dropped on the Tampa 5.
The Tampa 5, members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), were brutalized and arrested on March 6 for protesting against Florida governor Ron DeSantis and his cuts to diversity, equity and inclusion programs at Florida public universities. The activists were standing up for their rights, and now face up to ten years in prison for doing so.
The protest was hosted by the Atlanta district of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) as part of the SDS and National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) day of action
In his speech for NAARPR, Laith Abdel Hader stated, “The law they were protesting, which is now in effect, cuts funding to diversity programs in universities with already declining Black enrollment and bans Black history and gender studies from classes.”
Speakers also highlighted the struggle in Atlanta against Cop City and the political repression against anti-Cop City activists. Cop City is a $90 million training facility for police that will be built over the Welaunee Forest in the southside of Atlanta.
Abdel Hader stated, “The struggle to drop the charges on the Tampa 5 is important for all social movements in the U.S. We are already seeing numerous attacks, especially in the South, against free speech and social movements.”
The Atlanta FRSO will host another event on the Tampa 5’s pretrial hearing, which is December 5.