Gov. Scott says no to demands; protestors remain

Published On: Jul 17 2013 03:39:43 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2013 04:36:19 PM EDT

News Service of Florida photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Protesters upset with the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial remained at the Capitol even though Gov. Rick Scott has not agreed to meet with them and has said no to their demands.

Scott has yet to set foot in the Capitol since a group of young protesters began occupying his office on Tuesday. The small group wants the governor to call a special session and ask legislators to change the state's self-defense laws.

About 30 of them spent Tuesday night on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda and plan to stay again Wednesday night.  They vow to stay until the governor returns.

"We’re still willing to meet," said Phillip Agnew of the group calling itself Dream Defenders. "It will escalate, more people will come, he’ll get visitors."

Retired U.S. Army Col. Wilson Barnes was at the Capitol Wednesday to support the protestors.

"As a retired military man -- disabled Vietnam vet -- to see these young kids come out here and put it on the line, I wouldn't dare let them have them come here without putting mine on the line, also," Barnes said. "I did it once before and I'm willing to do it again."

During a Pensacola stop Wednesday, Scott said it was "great" that people were using their free-speech rights. But he would not say if he planned to meet with the protesters.
    
The governor also maintained his stance that there is no need to change Florida's "stand your ground" law.
    
Steven Pargett said protesters will "wait" and "wait" for their demands to be met.

"People from around the country are watching," said Agnew. "I think the governor has an interesting opportunity to prove his commitment to the future of youth in this state."

Also Wednesday, the National Action Network announced that nine vigils will be held across Florida on Saturday, which it is calling the Justice for Trayvon National Day of Action.

The group lists two events in Jacksonville, one at the Duval County Courthouse, 501 West Adams Street, and a second at the U.S. Courthouse, 300 North Hogan Street.

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