March 30, 2023

WATCH: Occupy Democrats journalists forced from public press conference by DeSantis’ police

WATCH: Occupy Democrats journalists forced from public press conference by DeSantis' police

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The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, sent police to expel two of our journalists from an official press conference at Miami Dade College today for no reason.

NBC News and The Miami Herald reported on two journalists from this publication being deprived of their First Amendment rights to press freedom today.

This author, Grant Stern, and Occupy Democrats’ opinion correspondent Thomas Kennedy appeared in room 2106 of the college campus before Gov. Ron DeSantis arrived to speak to the assembled media, alongside his Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñes.

This author sent an RSVP request for the event but was not replied to. Kennedy attended without sending a prior reservation. Members of the media, including NBC, The Miami Herald, and ABC‘s Miami affiliate WPLG greeted both Occupy Democrats journalists with a smile in the media area at the back of the room.

Nobody at the door had a problem either because nobody was in sight with a list. It was an open press conference, except for our journalists.

A few minutes later, a crowd crammed onto the stage to await the Florida governor’s arrival.

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“It is sad that we live in a state where the government chooses which press to engage with,” says Kennedy, “and which press not to engage with. Our politicians are afraid of tough questions. It’s reprehensible. They’re paid from tax dollars to serve us.”

NBC‘s Marc Caputo was the first to publish a video of the scene in clips, first with Kennedy, who was ejected first while lamenting that he wanted to ask Governor DeSantis about a massive tax cut to corporations, including Disney, with whom he is feuding. Later he published a video of the author being confronted by an officer of the Miami Police Department, asking if they suspected him of a crime, to which they replied “No.”

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Story continues below both videos: 

The Miami Herald‘s Bianca Padró Ocasio sat to the author’s left and in front of Kennedy published these tweets of the incident.

National core inflation ran 8.5% in March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a gas price spike. That means Florida’s rental inflation is 5 times higher than core price inflation.

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This author planned to ask DeSantis if he’s critical of President Biden’s handling of inflation, and if so, what is his answer to Florida’s booming rental price inflation with increases of 50% being seen across South Florida?

Instead, the author collected the names and badge numbers of the three Miami Police officers who escorted him out of the premises.

The entire incident and Governor DeSantis’ press conference were live broadcast on the Florida Channel.

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This article was edited by Vinnie Longobardo.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also a mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition, and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.

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