Florida Republicans to hold rally calling for exoneration of Capitol rioters


Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors (Jan. 6, 2021) - PHOTO BY LEV RADIN
  • Photo by Lev Radin
  • Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors (Jan. 6, 2021)

Arguably, the state of Florida led the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S Capitol.

The Sunshine State now has more individuals charged in connection with the attack than anywhere else in the nation. Florida also has the most charges connected to far-right extremist groups, like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

But this weekend, a handful of Florida Republican candidates will host a rally in Tallahassee calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis and others to put pressure on authorities to free the “political prisoners” of Jan. 6.

The “Free Our Patriots Rally in Tally” will be held Saturday, July 10, hosted by Luis Miguel, a far-right Republican candidate looking to primary Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Folks, The patriots who have been hunted down by the corrupt, communist FBI are suffering. Many of them are veterans who fought for this nation,” tweeted Miguel. “Let's do our part to ensure they're liberated. We can't allow this in America. Be there at the Florida Capitol July 10.”

Miguel, who posts a near-nonstop stream of conspiracy theories from his Twitter account, has criticized Rubio for things like getting a vaccine and voting to certify the 2020 election results. Miguel also claims that the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection that resulted in five deaths (including a police officer) was in fact a “False Flag carried out by a corrupt FBI to distract from the Election Theft and target conservatives.”

Tampa Bay Republican and two-time congressional failure Christine Quinn has also publicly stated that she will attend the event.

“Join me to support our Patriots that have been unlawfully arrested and detained without due cause,” posted Quinn to her Instagram account. Like Miguel, Quinn has consistently denied that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, and she also continues to deny that she lost her own election to District 14 Congresswoman Kathy Castor who won more than 60% of the votes.

After providing zero evidence, Quinn has since dropped a lawsuit contesting her election results and says she will run a third time in 2024. Coincidentally, she's still suing local Trump supporters for stiffing her with all the travel expenses to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

As of now, charges against Florida rioters related to Jan. 6 range from conspiracy; assault, including on a federal officer; civil disorder; violent entry; obstruction of an official proceeding; and entering and remaining in a restricted building.

Federal authorities have already arrested more than 500 people suspected of involvement with the Capitol riot, and 60 of those are from Florida.

Meanwhile, 2022 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Christ has called on DeSantis to publicly reject the conspiracy theory that Trump actually won the election, and to investigate Florida’s connection to the hate groups involved with Jan. 6.

“If Governor DeSantis can’t admit the truth about something as simple as who the duly elected President is, is there anything he won’t mislead the public about?” said Crist. “Just as troublingly, his silence is empowering the hate groups that fueled the insurrection of January 6th. Floridians deserve better.”

So far, DeSantis has done neither.

This story originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.