State Rep. Anna Eskamani spoke to an assembled crowd outside the event, which barred press from attending.
The cool evening on Bumby Ave was cut by cars honking, waving flags and signs, and chants from both sides of the political spectrum. Many local representatives came out to speak out against DeSantis' arrival to The City Beautiful and his actions on multiple issues including as gun rights, abortion protections and LGBTQ rights.
“Remember Florida is a firewall for freedom and if we allow DeSantis to continue on his path of political ambition, our entire democratic system is on the line,” Eskamani said.
Outside on that street the political polarization that is continuing to grow in the country was very much present. At a point, Orlando Police had to park their bikes in between both ideological groups.
One of DeSantis’s supporters was a 16 -year- old, Joyce Charriez. She was sporting American flag shades and a “Keep Florida Free '' hat. Harriez was outside The Plaza Live with her father.
“I had seen him in person and on TV and I think he is doing the right thing,” Charriez said. “He’s keeping us free, and in other states like California and New York there are a lot of restrictions and I think people are hurting over there.”
While both parties were expressing their views, Maxwell Frost, a candidate running for one of Central Florida’s congressional districts was inside sitting in the front row ready to confront DeSantis.
“Governor, we need you to take action on gun violence,” Frost said to the governor.
This led to a response from DeSantis saying, “Nobody wants to hear from you.” The crowd roared in applause and Frost was escorted outside by police.
Frost joined Eskamani and his supporters as the sun set on Bumby Ave. The remainder of the protestors waited along the silver gates for DeSantis to come out while the Orlando Police Department watched on the side, enjoying some Chick-Fil-A.
“I hate to be morbid but our governor is here making money for Dave Rubin instead of figuring out, getting together Democrats and Republicans and figuring out how we stop kids from dying,” Frost said. “Legislation that saves one, two, three, four lives a day is worth it. These are human beings and so we had to go in there and tell the governor we need him at this moment.”
“Everyone's lives are on the lines, all of our rights are on the line and if you care about access to a safe and legal abortion, then you got to be ready to vote this November,” Eskamani said. “We already know that the supreme court of the United States has already moved in the direction of completely eliminating federal protections for abortion access in this country.”