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On Tuesday, members of The Dream Defenders, an organization directed by black and brown youth who combat systemic inequality, gathered to confront Florida lawmakers at the Capitol, expressing their concerns over the hyper-incarceration of minorities and laws, like the controversial Stand Your Ground measure, that begets legal violence against these groups.

On the first day of Florida’s 2014 legislative session, the organization released their legislative priorities on their site. Members say they will do this every year on the opening day of the Florida Legislative Session.


Members gathered on the third floor of the Capitol, chanting passionately and demanding change. As of Tuesday afternoon, officers threaten to evict them for singing “Can’t Take No More.”

At one point, the Defenders even created a line for lawmakers to pass through as they made their way to hear Governor Rick Scott’s State of the State address.

And in a powerful and emotional visual response, the Defenders released their own State of the State, dubbing it #GoodKidsMadCity.

In collaboration with the video charge, the Defenders also created a series of infographics to detail Florida’s role in the prison pipeline:

dream defendersdream defenders

And in a clever, but sobering, repurpose of Florida’s popular advertisement “Visit Florida,” the Defenders have released a package of memes to dispel the myth that the Sunshine State is a destination vacation site.

It is, in fact, a place where the State Attorney throws black and brown youth into jail but fails to convict their killers. It’s where controversial laws excuse the killing of the youth. And it’s where school funding is slashed and the prison pipeline thrives from school-based-arrests.

You can read the Defender’s Welcome To Florida below:

Welcome to Florida

For more “Visit Florida” memes and information about the Dream Defenders call to action and legislative priorities, click here.

To follow their journey at the Florida Capitol, click here.

SOURCE: Dream Defenders

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