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Tipsheet

Failed DeSantis Challenger Nikki Fried Arrested While Protesting Florida Abortion Bill

Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried, who challenged Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 midterms, was arrested at a pro-abortion protest outside the Tallahassee City Hall on Monday.

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According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Fried was arrested protesting the state’s proposed six-week abortion ban. Fried, and other protesters were taken away by cops while sitting in a circle and singing inside “a barricaded area of a park that was closed at sunset.” Reportedly, they were warned by police that if they did not leave, they would be arrested.

"After multiple warnings throughout the day, protestors acknowledged they understood that anyone refusing to leave the premises at sundown would be subject to arrest," a spokesperson from the Tallahassee Police Department wrote in a press release

"This evening, after sunset, the majority of the crowd left the property while 11 people refused to leave despite numerous requests. They were subsequently arrested for trespass after warning," it continued. "TPD encourages individuals exercising their First Amendment right of peaceful assembly to do so in accordance with the law. TPD supports non-disruptive demonstrations and works diligently to protect and uphold the rights of citizens every day."

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Fried shared a photo of herself getting arrested and told Democrats to “just f***ing vote.”

Florida state Sen. Lauren Book, a Democrat, was arrested as well. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, wrote on Twitter that the arrests were DeSantis “arresting [his] opponents,” which was flagged to clarify that the protesters were allowed to be there during the day, but were told to leave at night.

Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler called the arrests a “publicity stunt” and said that the Democrats have “no respect for law enforcement or the rule of law.”

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Last year, Fried was defeated by former Florida governor and Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist in the state Primary Election to narrow down who would challenge DeSantis, which Townhall covered. Fried used abortion rights in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision as a rallying cry for voters. Crist, who has switched parties in the past, won the nomination. In November, DeSantis won the election.

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