Students stage walkout, protesting against DeSantis

FSU Democrats walked out of class and work in protest against DeSantis’ education reforms seeking to curb the influence of critical race theory and DEI in the state's higher ed system.

The walkout was part of a state-wide protest against the Florida Governor.

On Feb. 23, Florida State University’s (FSU) Florida Democrats chapter partnered with the left-wing student organization Stand for Freedom to protest recent education policies put forward by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Stand for Freedom released a public announcement calling for the state-wide protest via Instagram on Feb. 10, stating that the purpose of the protest was to “demand that the DeSantis administration stops abusing their power by targeting LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities and restore DEI initiatives in all colleges across the state of Florida.”

Join us on February 23rd at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm as we take a stand against the DeSantis administration!” the announcement reads. “We are asking that you walk out of your classes, jobs, and other obligations to meet at your campus student center.” 

[RELATED: Trans activists protest Desantis] 

Campus Reform obtained exclusive footage of the rally where students, instructed to wear all black, were seen shouting numerous chants including “When trans rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up and fight back!”, “Ron DeSantis, you’re on notice! We won’t lose focus!”, and ”Tear down Florida! We on the way! We comin’!” 

Anna Eskamani, a representative from Florida’s 42nd Congressional District, was also identified by Campus Reform and spoke at the walkout. 

“I just walked out of committee to be with y’all,” she said. “We are walking out for academic freedom so our Governor doesn’t dictate what our ideas are … so we can have critical and independent free speech and thought and not be a fascist state like what our Governor wants us to be.”  

“And let’s be clear y’all, ‘Western Civilization’ curriculum is code for White Supremacy—I said it,” she also stated. “Every culture war is a class war.” 

Eskamani went on to allege that “trans lives ... are under attack right now.”

”Schools exist for students. We set the agenda. We pay tuition, we pay for these buildings,” she continued. ”Our professors are the experts who decide what a conversation looks like.”

Claiming that DeSantis doesn’t want “our children [and] our farm workers” to receive a good education, Eskamani exclaimed “F**k that!”

[RELATED: VIDEO: Why I spoke at Desantis’ higher ed reform press conference] 

The walkout at FSU occurred simultaneously with Stand for Freedom-organized walkouts at many other Florida universities including the University of Central Florida (UCF), Florida International University (FIU), University of South Florida (USF), and the University of Florida (UF). 

This protest is part of Campus Reform’s latest coverage of Florida students’ anti-DeSantis protests.

Campus Reform contacted every university, organization, and individual mentioned for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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