The Florida Independent

Posts by Brett Ader

State senator brings back ‘Ag Gag’ bill

By | 12.09.11 | 10:05 am

State Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, has reintroduced legislation to stop animal rights activists from obtaining photographic records of farming operations in Florida.

PHOTOS: Protesters occupy Tallahassee

By | 10.17.11 | 7:00 am

Several hundred protesters gathered at the Old Capitol building in downtown Tallahassee Saturday for what had been established as an international day of solidarity with the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City.

One GOP lawmaker’s push for a moratorium on commercial water permits

By | 10.03.11 | 1:11 pm

While intense community organizing and outreach effectively curbed the ability of private entities to withdraw water from the Wacissa River, a state bill filed last month would move to further protect an already strained Florida aquifer from corporate interests.

Jefferson County approves landmark ordinance protecting Wacissa River from water bottlers

By | 09.29.11 | 10:50 am

Citizens in North Florida marked a pivotal victory earlier this month with the adoption of a first-of-its-kind law that will ensure the Wacissa River and surrounding public waters are protected from private water bottling interests for generations to come.

Twelve activists arrested for violating group feeding ban in Orlando; mayor calls them ‘food terrorists’

By | 06.10.11 | 8:30 am

Food activists in Central Florida are continuing to defy a local ordinance restricting group feedings in public spaces, as another five members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday for providing food to the homeless in Lake Eola Park. What began as a local act of defiance has made headlines around the nation and even abroad, in addition to stirring other organizations to stage acts of solidarity in places as distant as Italy and the Ukraine.

After farm-photo bill dies in Florida, animal advocacy groups wary of Monsanto-backed version in Iowa

By | 05.18.11 | 9:17 am

While Sen. Jim Norman’s controversial farm-photo bill may have died in the Florida Legislature, animal rights advocates are cautiously acknowledging the victory is a temporary one whose significance may ultimately be thwarted by laws currently pending in Iowa and Minnesota.

The bill, which would have created penalties for taking pictures on farms, drew a firestorm of opposition from animal rights groups who felt it would hamper whistleblowers’ efforts to expose inhumane farming conditions.

CNN analysts slam farm-photo bans as unconstitutional, claim factory farm conditions are ‘America’s secret shame’

By | 04.19.11 | 4:20 pm

Pending legislation in several states — including Florida — that would criminalize the act of filming agricultural operations without the consent of the farm owner came up last week on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, with one analyst making the claim that conditions animals are subjected to by American industrial agriculture operations amount to “institutionalized torture.”

Bill that would exempt depictions of deaths from public records worries First Amendment advocates

By | 04.18.11 | 8:06 am

A bill seeking to exempt depictions of deaths from Florida’s public records laws is making its way through the legislature, and freedom-of-information advocates are warning that the repercussions of such a broad measure could be detrimental to the public’s ability to hold law enforcement and government agents accountable.

Randolph bill that would ban discrimination against LGBT Floridians ‘never even put on the agenda’

By | 04.14.11 | 2:54 pm

Legislation that could fight discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in Florida has stagnated, according to state Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando. Randolph introduced House Bill 361 in an effort provide Florida’s LGBT community with the same protections currently afforded to individuals against unfair treatment based on sex, race, age or disability.

Humane Society on Norman’s farm-photo bill: Undercover investigation gave us humane slaughter laws

By | 04.07.11 | 5:00 am

As state Sen. Jim Norman’s farm-photo bill heads to its second committee stop later this month, animal-advocacy groups continue to lambast the legislation, which they see as an attempt to further conceal the inhumane treatment of animals. They argue that their work is focused on protecting consumers and animals alike from an industry that is notorious for hiding from the public the harsh realities of modern industrial agriculture.

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