GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WSVN) — Umbrellas, coolers and lawn chairs set the scene for a ‘Rebellious Readout’ this weekend as a social justice group hosted the story time at Gainesville City Hall.

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville Social Justice group wanted to raise awareness on books removed under Florida’s educational policies. On Sunday, people gathered to listen to librarians, educators, NAACP members and other community leaders publicly read excerpts from banned books.

The gathering also featured live music and spoken word performances for those who attended.

Mary Bahr, a member of the organizing fellowship, highlighted the discriminatory nature of the book bans.

“So, they’re excluding them from the conversation in the classroom and the town square so we’re just trying to bring that back,” she said.

Participants had the opportunity to take home a book of their choosing from a collection of banned titles as organizers encouraged engagement with the issues at hand. They also invited attendees to their ‘library of banned books’ as part of an ongoing initiative to challenge literary limitations.

The event comes in the wake of Governor Ron DeSantis signing a new law limiting the number of banned school books that can be challenged by some residents. Starting July 1, people without children in a school district can only file one complaint per month.

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