Randi Weingarten fact-checked for false claim that DeSantis arrested political opponents

 Teachers' union boss called out for explosive, erroneous statement about Florida governor

Twitter users fact-checked American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten for falsely claiming that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is arresting his political opponents.

The false claim stemmed from a tweet written by Florida Planned Parenthood Action, the Twitter account for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and Florida Planned Parenthood PAC, which says in its bio that it defends "reproductive health care including abortion."

On Monday, the group wrote that the Tallahassee Police Department arrested several pro-choice protesters at City Hall, including state Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book and state Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried.


"Tallahassee Police Department just arrested dozens of peaceful pro-choice at City Hall outside of the Florida Capitol," the Planned Parenthood group wrote. "This includes Senator Chair . Abortion is health care."

Protesters had gathered in front of Tallahassee City Hall, which is across the street from the state Capitol, on Monday to demonstrate against a bill making its way through the state legislature that would ban abortions in Florida after six weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions. The bill had passed the state Senate earlier in the day.

Weingarten retweeted Florida Planned Parenthood Action, writing: "Now DeSantis is arresting is opponents."

However, Twitter proceeded to call out that statement is false, with readers adding a note to fellow users flagging the fact that the City of Tallahassee released a press release saying the protesters were allowed to use the premises during normal business hours and were warned at sundown they had to leave or be arrested.

"After multiple warnings throughout the day, protestors acknowledged they understood that anyone refusing to leave the premises at sundown would be subject to arrest," the press release stated. "This evening, after sunset, the majority of the crowd left the property while 11 people refused to leave despite numerous requests. They were subsequently arrested for trespass after warning."

Still, Florida Planned Parenthood Action tweeted several videos of police arresting the protesters, telling readers to call Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey's office "and tell him you are disgusted by the arrest of peaceful protesters." The group did not note that Dailey is a Democrat or that Tallahassee is a blue city that overwhelmingly votes for Democrats.

Fried and Book were both reportedly released from jail overnight.

Monday wasn't the first time that Weingarten has gotten in trouble for tweeting about DeSantis. Last month, social media users excoriated her for making several grammatical errors and opining on issues outside her purview as head of the nation's second-biggest teacher's union when she attacked the governor over Twitter.

Weingarten has repeatedly slammed DeSantis for his policies in Florida, particularly those related to the public school curriculum.

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