Mathematically impossible for special session?

House speaker tells Dream Defenders to go home


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – So far, 55 lawmakers in Florida have said no to calling a special session addressing the "stand your ground" law, but the Dream Defenders say they will continue their sit-in until their demands are met.

The polling process of asking lawmakers if they support a special session of the Legislature addressing the law kicked off earlier this week. Each day the chances of a session being called move closer to mathematically impossible.

"For us, it was all about a measure of leaving no stones unturned," said Ahmad Abuznaid, of Dream Defenders.

The group has spent the last 30 days camped out in the governor's office. They said they won't leave until there's a special session. But now, the House speaker says the poll speaks for itself and they need to go home.

"We'd say to those lawmakers, we're ready to have them lead. So they're ready for us to leave, but we're ready for them to lead," Abuznaid said.

Lawmakers have until Monday to send their response of whether they support a special session. Those who don't respond by the deadline will be counted as a no vote.

The Dream Defenders knew they would face opposition from many Republican lawmakers. Gov. Rick Scott told them a week into the protest the session was off the table.

"I'm not going to call a special session," Scott said. "I don't believe right now the stand your ground law should be changed."

Session or not, the group says it's staying put.

"Every time we start to get a little tired, we get a renewed sense of energy," Abuznaid said.

More supporters are expected over the next couple of weeks as tens of thousands of college students return to the state capital.

Civil rights leader Julian Bond will be at the Capitol on Thursday with the group for what's being called a "huge announcement."