Republican Governor Ron DeSantis issued a memo ordering college campuses in Florida’s state university system to shut down a Palestinian solidarity student organization. Florida officials accused Students for Justice in Palestine of providing “harmful support for terrorist groups.” He highlighted this action in this month’s GOP debate.
The Oct. 24th order by university system Chancellor Ray Rodrigues called for shuttering the group's chapters on Florida campuses.
Palestine Legal, which defends the free speech of Palestinian rights activists, said in a statement the memo was “filled with erroneous factual and legal claims that seek to distract from, distort and silence the message of student activists across the United States the same way Israeli propaganda has sought to distract public attention from ongoing Israeli war crimes.”
The group is now suing DeSantis for first amendment violations.
The complaint alleges the governor, and by extension, the University system, violated the group’s free speech rights. The court documents point to a deactivation order for the Students for Justice in Palestine group on Florida University campuses.
A spokesperson for the group said, “Students who express their views because its critical of the Israeli government, or because it expresses the need for the Palestinians to be free, it does not make them antisemitic, anti-Jewish, it does not make them terrorists and that’s why this lawsuit was filed yesterday. This is not a Muslim thing, it’s a constitutional thing.”
A second lawsuit against the Governor was filed late yesterday afternoon in Gainesville by USF.
About the writer: Matthew Woodruff is an Independent Journalist and Author who believes in Freely Accessible, Honest and Open Reporting. Visit at matthewcwoodruff.com