Tampa Bay activist groups will protest Turning Point USA's Student Action Summit

The protest will gather at Tampa's Downtown Convention Center on Saturday July 23 at 10 a.m.

click to enlarge Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. - Flickr via Gage Skidmore
Flickr via Gage Skidmore
Charlie Kirk speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Turning Point USA's Student Action Summit descends upon Downtown Tampa this weekend, and local activist groups plan to protest the event.

TPUSA's event is targeted at young people and is advertised as "a celebration of youth and freedom." It will feature a slew of right wing speakers, including: former President Donald Trump, Trump Jr., Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, Senator Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis, congressman Matt Gaetz and several other notable right wingers.

The protest against the event, called "Don't Fascist Our Florida", is organized by Women's Voices of Southwest Florida, Florida For Change and Tampa Bay Community Action Committee. The groups are calling on people from across the state to gather at the Lykes Gaslight Square Park—located at 241 E. Madison St.—on Saturday, July 23 at 10 a.m. to march to the Tampa Convention Center and stand up to TPUSA, which they describe as fascist.

"That's right everyone, all of the biggest 'conservative' names will be traveling from across the country to be celebrated HERE," the event page reads. "...If they're willing to travel across the country to support these clowns, we need y'all to to make the drive over here and show them that fascism isn't welcomed here."

Since its founding in 2012, TPUSA has been accused of racial bias and illegal campaign activity. Charlie Kirk, the co- founder of TPUSA will also be speaking at the event. In the past, he has been outspoken against a woman's right to choose what to do with her reproductive system.

For this event, Kirk is scheduled to host a lecture called "Queer Theory and the Post Truth Progressives" with Dr. James Lindsay, who is anti-trans, anti-abortion and has referred to victims of mass shootings speaking up against unregulated assault weapons as "theater kids."

Several of the Republican attendees at the conference voted against marriage equality on July 20.

Aside from lectures and speeches, the event will also feature meet and greets, as well as breakout sessions. One of the sessions is titled, "County Citizens Defending Freedom."

The TPUSA summit comes just one week after Moms For Liberty, a group steeped in conspiracy theory and right wing rhetoric, came to Tampa, drawing the ire of local teachers and hundreds of other protestors.

UPDATED: Updated on 07/22/2022 to reflect a new starting location for the protest, after protest organizers changed the starting point.

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia has written for The Nation, Investigative Reporters & Editors Journal, the USA Today Network and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.