Things That Matter

After Refusing To Attend Town Hall Meetings, Marco Rubio Got Evicted From His Offices

When Senator Marco Rubio decided to stop attending town hall meetings for his constituents, he said it was because people “get rude and stupid” at the gatherings. Rubio has gone so far out of his way to avoid confrontation with his constituents that he’s even falsely claimed he was in Europe to avoid holding a town hall — video of him proves otherwise. Rubio’s continued no-show of town hall meetings has caused concerned citizens to confront him on his own turf.

Rather than be ignored, voters in Rubio’s state began voicing their concern outside his offices in Tampa, Fla.


According to Bay News 9, more than 150 protestors have routinely gathered in front of the offices for the last several weeks.

The protests eventually led the property’s owner to evict Rubio’s team from the Tampa area building.


Speaking on the demonstrations outside Senator Rubio’s office, property owner Jude Williams told Yahoo!, “A professional office building is not a place for that. I understand their cause, but at the end of the day, it was a security concern for us.”

Williams added, “It’s not political. It’s for no other reason than good office management. Our duty is to keep a good, peaceful office building environment for our tenants, and that’s not what they bargained for.”

According to 7 News Miami, Senator Rubio had been on a month-to-month lease in the building since December.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Rubio and his team have until 5:30 on Friday to leave the premises.

Once news got out, people on Twitter voiced their concern for Sen. Rubio.

#Justsayin. ?

JK. People on social media pretty much dragged Senator Rubio all across Twitter.

@l1quidcryst4l/TWITTER

Yeah, not a lot of sympathy for the Florida senator.

However, some people on Twitter believe the protestors should do something better with their time.

There were those that thought the protestors should be locked up.

Others believe that the protestors are paid to be there.

However, people have been quick to point out a 2009 tweet where Rubio praised town halls.


#justsayin.

Rubio is no stranger to trolling IRL.

When the 45-year-old senator stopped showing up to town hall meetings, these posters began appearing around town.

Floridians have mastered the art of a good Rubio meme.

Rubio’s constituents even held a town hall meeting without the senator in attendance.

A cardboard cut-out of Rubio stood in for the actual public servant.

Following the eviction from the Tampa offices, Rubio’s offices released an official statement.

Taking questions from the press on the flight to South Carolina this morning.

A post shared by Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubiofla) on


The Tampa Bay Times reports that Christina Madreucci, Rubio’s spokeswoman, sent out an email acknowledging their need for a new office: “We are actively looking for new office space, and our goal is to remain accessible and continue providing prompt and efficient service to all Floridians.”

Senator Rubio has maintained silence about the issue on Twitter.

READ: Mexican Soccer Star Finds A “Border Wall” At Toys R Us In Portugal

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Black Lives Matter Protests Are Working As Murders By Police Drop In Cities Across The Country

Things That Matter

Black Lives Matter Protests Are Working As Murders By Police Drop In Cities Across The Country

The Black Lives Matter movement is not new. Black Americans have been fighting for their lives for generations. But since the high-profile murders of unarmed Black men at the hands of America’s police officers, the country has been coming to terms with its racist identity. 

Over the summer, despite a deadly pandemic, millions of Americans poured into the streets in cities across the country to demand justice and shout to the world that Black Lives Matter! These protests grew into an international movement that is helping to hold police officers accountable for their actions and it seems to be working. 

Police killings have dropped in cities that held BLM protests.

Since the Black Lives Matter movement grew to national prominence in 2014, protests have spread to cities around the U.S. A new study shows that police homicides have significantly decreased in most cities where such protests occurred. 

“Black Lives Matter represents a trend that goes beyond the decentralization that existed within the Civil Rights Movement,” says Aldon Morris, a sociologist at Northwestern University, who was not involved in the new study. “The question becomes, ‘Are Black Lives Matter protests having any real effect in terms of generating change?’ The data show very clearly that where you had Black Lives Matter protests, killing of people by the police decreased. It’s inescapable from this study that protest matters—that it can generate change.”

According to the study, posted by the Social Science Research Network, municipalities where BLM protests have been held experienced as much as a 20 percent decrease in killings by police, resulting in an estimated 300 fewer deaths nationwide in 2014–2019. The occurrence of local protests increased the likelihood of police departments adopting body-worn cameras and community-policing initiatives, the study also found. Many cities with larger and more frequent BLM protests experienced greater declines in police homicides.

The study shows just how important the Black Lives Matter movement is at saving lives.

The difference was significant in this study: it found police killings fell by 16.8 percent on average in municipalities that had BLM protests, compared with those that did not. When Campbell compared municipalities that already had similar trends in police homicides before BLM began, the estimate rose to 21.1 percent. 

BLM protests may have this effect because they push police departments to adopt reforms such as body cams or community policing, as the study found. Another reason may be that the protests affect police morale, causing officers to adopt a less aggressive patrolling posture that reduces police-civilian interactions in general. And not all cities experienced declines amid the protests. 
But not all cities witnessed the same declines. Police homicides increased in Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco and St. Louis during the five-year period.

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Cuban Government Backtracks On Historic Deal With Protesters Just Days After Reaching An Agreement

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Cuban Government Backtracks On Historic Deal With Protesters Just Days After Reaching An Agreement

It seemed that many Cuban’s hopes for greater freedom of expression – particularly in the art world – seems to have been dashed again. In less than 24 hours after apparently agreeing to meet several demands from dissident artists, the government broke at least three of the five agreements in had made.

Freedom of expression is a hot topic in Cuba, where the communist regime severely limits what artists can say and produce.

But even more rare: public protest. That’s what makes these recent marches in Havana so important, the island hasn’t seen anything like it in decades. And as almost on script, the Cuban government flipped on its public reaction to the growing movement, instead blaming it on “U.S. imperialism” and foreign intervention.

Cuban officials have completely condemned the protest movement in a full 180º change of attitude.

Over the weekend, Cuba saw unprecedented protests led by dissident artists and creatives – known as the San Isidro movement – seeking greater freedom of expression. And although it seemed early on that the group may have made progress (the government agreed to several concessions), those hopes went up in flames as the government launched an all-out rhetorical assault.

Shortly after the meeting between protesters and officials, the protest came to a peaceful end with leaders thinking they achieved what they had set out to do, and with a meeting to discuss the issues further.

But just hours later the government called in the top U.S. diplomat on the island, charge de affairs Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, for a scolding over “grave interference in Cuba’s internal affairs” as state television ran a 90-minute special attacking members of the protest group and broadcasting visuals of their interactions with U.S. diplomats and Miami exiles.

“Sovereign Cuba accepts no interference … The revolutionary ones will fight back,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel said in one of a series of Twitter posts accusing the San Isidro movement of being a “reality show” on social media created by “U.S. imperialists.”

What originally seemed like progress now seems like business as usual for the communist regime.

Credit: Yamil Lapage / AFP / Getty Images

It seemed, at least for a few short hours, that there was a real chance at bolstering artistic freedom in Cuba. The group of protesters, known as the San Isidro movement, gathered outside the culture ministry, leading Fernando Rojas, the deputy culture minister, to invite in a group of 30 of them. The meeting lasted for more than four hours, those present have said, and resulted in a promise of greater freedoms for artists.

Writer Katherine Bisquet told the press afterward that there had been a “truce for independent spaces” where activists could meet and talk, and that further discussions were promised.

“I cannot emphasize enough that this kind of public protest, with hundreds of people standing outside a ministry for 14 hours, is unprecedented,” Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco told Artnet News. “The fact that government officials conceded to a meeting is in itself a victory for the artists and a sign of weakness on the part of the government.”

The government had also agreed to urgently review the case of a detained member of the San Isidro crew and a rapper sentenced this month to eight months in jail on charges of contempt. It also agreed to ensure independent artists in the future were not harassed.

Cuban officials blamed the U.S. for stirring up dissent.

Shortly after the government launched a verbal assault on the group, it also accused the U.S. of helping them. Officials at the Foreign Ministry summoned the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, Chargé d’Affaires Timothy Zuñiga-Brown, and complained about U.S. “intervention.”

At Sunday’s rally, Díaz Canel said that “Trumpistas” (referring to the Trump administration) and the “anti-Cuban mafia that are now ‘Trumpistas'” (referring to Cuban American Trump supporters in Miami) “had on their agenda that before the year ends, the revolutions of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have to fall.”

Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden’s national security adviser, tweeted Sunday: “We support the Cuban people in their struggle for liberty and echo calls for the Cuban government to release peaceful protestors. The Cuban people must be allowed to exercise the universal right to freedom of expression.”

Thanks to an imploding economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Cuba is experiencing an unprecedented crisis.

Credit: Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images

Cuba is going through dire shortages in food and basic goods amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has practically halted tourism to the island, on top of the Trump administration’s harsh sanctions.

Against that backdrop, García said, “I think the government should think about these things and view dialogue as a valid option to avoid a major disaster.”

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