Seattle, WA – On August 9, the UW Progressive Student Union (UW PSU), a chapter of Students For A Democratic Society, and the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (SAARPR) held a fundraiser in response to a national call to action in support of the Tampa 5. The Tampa 5 are student and community activists who are currently facing up to ten years in prison for protesting Ron DeSantis’ attacks on education in Florida.
A crowd of 45 people rallied in Powell Barnett Park to chant, give speeches and donate funds to the Tampa 5’s legal defense fund. Chants of “When protesters are under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight back!” rang out as parkgoers stopped by to listen to the speakers.
Many people held signs demanding justice for the Tampa 5, for the charges to be dropped, and calls against Ron DeSantis. Speakers made it clear that these attacks have consequences for all people who stand up and fight back against injustice.
Logan Miessner, a member of UW PSU, said “If we allow the government to intimidate those who stand up for justice, we will stay locked in place with the patterns of systemic discrimination, poverty and war.”
“Abortions, protections against queer discrimination, debt relief, affirmative action, workplace organization, the list goes on. The harsh reality is that none of these rights were ever guaranteed to us and they can be stripped from us at any moment,” said Jeffrey Freitag of SAARPR.
Gemini Gnull of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization added, “Until we change how the system is organized, we will continue to be unfairly arrested. We need to stand up and fight capitalism for the liberation of all people!”
As the event wrapped up, those who attended pledged donations to support the legal fund of the Tampa 5, and enjoyed a barbecue that went late into the night. The Tampa 5 are facing another day in court in December, but until their freedom is secured the struggle to boost their cause is ongoing. SAARPR and PSU both plan to continue showing solidarity with the Tampa 5, including hosting the activists in Seattle this fall as part of a national speaking tour.
Donate and sign the petition https://peoplespetitions.org/tampa5 to help keep the Tampa 5 out of prison!
Call the FSU president and demand they drop the charges on the Tampa 5: (813)-417-5292
Donate to support the Tampa 5: https://gofund.me/5765e559