FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Rain or shine, hundreds of people took to the streets of Fort Lauderdale to rally against a series of federal and state decisions that they say restrict their rights. Now they are calling for people to take action and exercise their right to vote.

Raindrops weren’t enough to drown out the drumbeat from demonstrators, Sunday afternoon.

“Hey, ho, DeSantis gotta go!” they chanted.

The “We the People” March in Fort Lauderdale dripped with disdain for many of the laws enacted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican supermajority in the state Legislature.

“It’s a coalition of more than 50 organizations that are fighting for our basic freedom and democracy,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

Weinstein said more than 1,000 bills taking rights away have been introduced around the country.

“These bills are being introduced in 48 states. It’s not just about Florida, right?” he said. “This is where it started, but it’s spreading like wildfire across the country.”

Some of Florida’s new laws getting the most attention are the Parental Rights in Education law, known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” as well as bans on drag performances where children might be present, restrictions on gender-affirming care for children and adults, book bans and permitless carry for guns.

Gia Gunn, a trans woman, said that at the end of the day, she wants what most people want.

“We deserve to be here, and we deserve to have rights just like everyone else,” she said.

Parkland survivor David Hogg said the majority of Floridians want something else, but the minority is calling the shots.

“The district lines across the state have been drawn in such a way where it subverts the majority rule of the American people or the Floridian people,” he said.

More than 2,000 people signed up for the march. There was a bit of sticky sunshine for those who gathered at Esplanade Park to listen to speakers.

For these demonstrators, however, marching and chanting aren’t enough. The key is to vote.

“There’s not going to be one person that saves us. We have to save us, we the people have to save us,” said Hogg. “That’s what this march is supposed to mark the beginning of.”

Over the last three days, there were “We the People” marches in several cities, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and New York, to name a few.

Another rally is set to start at 10:30 a.m. Monday and will be organized by the parents of Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Parkland school shooting. Their road tour is in remembrance of their son and is set to visit 23 communities affected by gun violence.

Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox