Prompted by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, Florida Satanist Wants to Open Meeting With Prayer

Categories: Activism

Chaz Stevens
It was only a matter of time, really.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government meetings are allowed to open with prayer -- even though currently in this country, the vast majority of such prayers are geared toward Christianity. The case was prompted in Greece, New York, where ministers are often invited to say opening words at public meetings. Of 120 meetings, only four opening prayers were non-Christian.

It only took four days since the court's ruling for a self-described Satanist to ask to open a meeting with a plea to his god.

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Rick Scott in Greenacres Today; Protest Planned

Categories: Activism

Rick Scott officially kicked off his tour of Florida car dealerships reelection campaign yesterday at a Volkswagen dealership in Jacksonville. He and some Republican supporters chanted his campaign slogan, "Let's keep working!"

Today at noon, when Scott comes to an AutoNation dealership in Greenacres, a grassroots group called Florida for All plans to publicly remind Scott that continuing to work is a necessity, not a choice, for the minimum-wage workers making $7.93 an hour.

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Fort Lauderdale Pushing for "Homeless Hate Laws," Advocacy Groups Say

Categories: Activism

Fort Lauderdale is set to pass ordinances that would make an already difficult life for the city's homeless even more so.

During a public workshop in January, it was announced that the city planned to pass ordinances that would effectively ban groups from sharing food with the homeless and make it illegal for the homeless to store their personal belongings on public property.

This means that police would have the authority to confiscate a homeless person's possessions after a 24-hour notice and keep them in storage until the person either pays a fee or can prove that he has no means to pay that fee.

On Tuesday night, these ordinances will receive second readings at the Fort Lauderdale City Commission meeting. Homeless advocacy groups plan on marching before the meeting, into City Hall, to give voice to what they're calling "homeless hate laws."

See also: A Florida City Made It Illegal for Homeless People to Cover Themselves With Blankets

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Anti-Keystone XL Pipeline Groups Calling on Sen. Bob Nelson to Vote Against Pipeline

Categories: Activism

courtesy 350 South Florida
Environmental groups made up of 350 South Florida,, Sierra Club, and CREDO will hold a news conference outside of Florida Sen. Bill Nelson's office Monday to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

Congress is a mere four votes away from passing a bill that would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Nelson, 350 says, has remained on the fence as to weather he'd vote for the pipeline to be built.

While President Obama has delayed any decisions on the pipeline over the last couple of years, Keystone XL has had some support in the Florida Legislature. Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola has proposed a House bill urging the president to consider the approval of the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

See also: President Obama Greeted by Animal Costume-Wearing Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters

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Activists Hold a "Die-In" Outside of Palm Beach Post Offices

Categories: Activism

If only the real Rick Scott were this hunky...

"If the press won't come to us, we will go to them."

Thus spake progressive activists who held a "die-in" yesterday outside of the Palm Beach Post to bring attention to the fact that the state legislature is likely to end this year's legislative session without expanding Medicaid, thus leaving thousands of struggling Floridians without access to health care.

The theatrical event was complete with a Rick Scott impersonator chopping up a check for federal funds, so he could keep on being evil to poor folks.

Thousands of working poor fall into a gap: They earn too much to qualify for health-care subsidies but not enough to buy private insurance. Like Charlene Dill, a young mom with a heart condition who could not afford her medicine and died on a customer's floor while selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Dill made about $9,000 a year.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, states had the option to expand Medicaid to help people like Dill, and would have received federal funds to do so. Rick Scott rejected the money.

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Florida Legislators Pass Law With Tougher Punishment for Hit-and-Run Accidents

Thue via wikimedia commons
We've all been there: You're riding your bike, walking on the street, or simply driving and out of nowhere some South Florida speed demon almost runs you down in his or her car.

According to unfortunate statistics from the state, it's more likely now than ever that the offending driver will take off after an accident. In 2012, there were 70,000 hit-and-run accidents. The kicker: There's little incentive in the law for the people responsible to stick around, especially when they've killed or seriously injured someone.

This week, both houses of the Florida Legislature passed a bill that will change all that.

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NRDC Releases Petition to Curtail Navy Testing Off Florida Coast

Photo by Bastique via Wikipedia Commons
Environmental tests have proven that sonar exercises performed by the U.S. Navy confuses marine life, specifically whales and dolphins, so severely that the animals end up either stranding themselves, going deaf, or suffering organ hemorrhaging. Sonar confuses them, often making them swim in different directions and disrupting their foraging and forcing them to abandon their habitats. In some cases, whales breaching the surface too quickly have suffered a form of the bends.

Last year, a federal appeals court sided with the Navy after environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), challenged its plan to hold undersea warfare training 50 nautical miles off the coast of northeast Florida.

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Activists Call Fort Lauderdale's Proposed Ordinances "Homeless Hate Laws"

Categories: Activism

via Wikimedia Commons
Food Not Bombs distributing meals in Sarasota, which was named the worst place to be homeless in America in 2006.
Despite the warm weather, Florida is one of the worst places to be homeless in the country. Almost every year, the state gets ragged on by the National Coalition for the Homeless for being one of the "meanest" in the union. Cities like Miami, Sarasota, Pensacola, and St. Pete have been specifically targeted for either passing laws or getting litigious regarding the rights of their most disenfranchised residents.

Now Fort Lauderdale is gearing up to join the list of places that activists say openly discriminate against the homeless. On the agenda for tonight's City Commission meeting are two ordinances that, if passed, would effectively ban homeless people there from relieving themselves or owning personal property.

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Anti-Scientology Conference in Clearwater May 5-11

Categories: Activism

Photo by Michael - Truth Revealed 2012/Flickr CC
Scientology's headquarters in Clearwater.
It's kind of amazing that there's anyone left in Scientology, given all of the bad press this so-called religion has received -- from Tom Cruise's couch-jumping, revelations about Xenu, and some high-profile exits from the church.

But one drive past the organization's headquarters -- a historic building called "Flag" in downtown Clearwater -- and you'll see devotees swarming, dressed in crisp white shirts and dark pants, evidence that some people are still believers in the elaborate scheme devised by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

See also: Ken Dandar Messed With Scientology, and Now the Spies Are After Him

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Blackfish Producer to Be Honored by PETA at Sublime Vegan Restaurant

Categories: Activism

Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikipedia Commons
Manny Oteyza, best-known as the producer of the documentary Blackfish that was watched by more than 21 million people on CNN, will be honored by Fort Lauderdale philanthropist and restaurateur Nanci Alexander at her Fort Lauderdale gourmet vegan hot spot Sublime Restaurant & Bar this weekend.

Fred Schneider, from the band the B-52's, will present Oteyza with an award.

See also: Could Miami Seaquarium Orca Lolita Be Days Away From Freedom?

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