FLORIDA

Harry Belafonte joins Dream Defenders at Florida Capitol

 

kmcgrory@MiamiHerald.com

The young activists protesting outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office got an unexpected boost of star power Friday when entertainer Harry Belafonte joined their ranks.

The students, who call themselves the Dream Defenders, have spent the past 11 days camped in the Florida Capitol. They have pledged not to leave until Scott calls a special session addressing the Stand Your Ground law, the number of young adults in prisons and racial profiling.

Scott has said he won’t call the legislature to Tallahassee.

But Belafonte, himself a civil rights activist, urged the Dream Defenders to stay strong.

“If they reject you, then the world will pay attention to what’s happening to you, and it is possible that Florida could become ungovernable,” he said. “By ungovernable, I don’t mean violent. But it could mean tens of thousand of people will join you. That’s not good for tourism.”

More than 250 people took part in the rally outside Scott’s office Friday afternoon. The group included Dream Defenders from across Florida, as well as students and young professionals from Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

About 100 of the participants were expected to spend the weekend in the Capitol.

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