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Rallies from left to right mark session opening

by John Kennedy | March 4th, 2011

Organizers across the political spectrum Friday began taking aim at the state Capitol for next week’s opening of the two-month legislative session.

The Facebook-drive Awake The State protest has about 30 rallies planned Tuesday from Key West to Pensacola — with critics of Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature’s budget-cutting the focus.

 Teachers, government employees, cops and firefighters form the core of those pushing back against proposed pension overhauls, but expected reductions in schools and health-care programs are drawing more opponents, said Damien Filer of Progress Florida.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people who say, `this is going to be my first rally of any kind,’” Filer said. “I’ll be interested to see what kind of momentum remains among people after next week.”

A West Palm Beach rally is planned from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, in the 100 block of Clematis Street.

Tea Party activists expect to counter-punch, with several thousand Scott supporters expected in Tallahassee.

“Sorry, it’s time we all take some hits in Florida because of this economy,” said Billie Tucker, a leader of Jacksonville’s First Coast Tea Party. “It’s time those who’ve enjoyed the gravy train in Tallahassee get off it.”

Conservative activists plan to rally Tuesday at the Old Capitol — a few hours before Scott’s State of the State speech.

“We’re ready to do an intervention on those legislators who are still addicted to spending,” said Patricia Sullivan, a Lake County leader of the tea party Patriot Army.

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One Response to “Rallies from left to right mark session opening”

  1. Alistair Says:

    Tea Partiers have NO idea what’s coming for them. I’ll be at the Awake the State rally in Fort Lauderdale and man, this is a HUGE movement of real people (not corporations like the tea party) taking our state back.

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