Awake Pinellas protests against Scott and his "puppet" Haridopolos

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Wendy Sears Grassi, Director of Public Affairs for the local Planned Parenthood, came to support the protest because she is “outraged” with the state legislature for introducing 18 anti-choice bills, which included a measure requiring women to receive an ultrasound before getting an abortion and an all-out abortion ban.

Awake Pinellas believes that Haridopolos is a puppet.
  • Awake Pinellas believes that Haridopolos is a puppet.

Meanwhile, Susannah Randolph, executive director of Florida Watch Action, targeted Sen. Mike Haridopolos as a “puppet” to Rick Scott, the governor the activists would like to give the “pink slip” to. Randolph cited Haridopolos’ controversial Florida History and Legislative Processes where he stated that, “A candidate should not modify his opinion simply to adapt it to the prevailing opinion.” In light of Haridopolos’ switched stances on education cuts, a high-speed rail and offshore drilling, Awake Pinellas finds this statement to be highly ironic. “People need to look at Mike Haridopolos as an accomplice to Rick Scott.” said Randolph.


Looking towards the future, Kofi Hunt, Awake Pinellas’ organizing member, seeks transparency in the redistricting process. Amendment 5 & 6, which would permit consistent geographical boundaries in districts, is seen as a Democratic hope for the districts to be more fairly drawn. Hunt would like to see the proposed districting maps so there can be a “fair and open discussion.” Although current projections show that the districts will not be voted until the 2012 election season, the Florida Fair Districts Coalition would like it to be sooner so candidates can properly introduce their platforms to their districts.

Hunt expects that the number will be over 200 for Friday’s main protest. Although media conferences will be happening inside the Vinoy Friday, Awake Pinellas would like the Republican nomination candidates to know that they’re watching too.

Different activist groups gather to protest Gov. Scott and Sen. Haridopolos
  • Different activist groups gather to protest Gov. Scott and Sen. Haridopolos

While Republican contenders for the U.S. Senate —Mike Haridopolos, Adam Hasner and George LeMieux— were speaking to the Florida Press Association inside the Vinoy Renaissance hotel, Awake Pinellas, an active branch of the Awake the State movement, held a rally outside. Whether to promote women’s rights or to protest budgetary spending, different activist groups gathered on Thursday to make sure their voices were heard.

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