Big Protest Drives #RedTideRick Scott From Venice, Gets Extensive News Coverage

Protesters gather shortly before noon.
Protesters gather shortly before noon.

Englewood and Venice Indivisibles helped recruit a loud crowd of protesters


September 18 2018 - "Wheels Fall Off Scott's Bus Tour," began today's Politico Florida Playbook.  "Rick Scott campaign stop besieged by red tide protesters," wrote Zac Anderson in the Sarasota Herald Tribune of Scott's appearance in Venice yesterday.

Indeed, working with less than two days' notice that Scott would be at a Venice restaurant to greet supporters, Englewood Indivisible, Indivisible Venice, several Democratic Party organizations and the fast-growing clean water movement mobilized a crowd to be proud of.

The restaurant cranked its speakers up to the max, but the crowd chanting "Red Tide Rick you can't hide" was louder. When Scott sneaked in the back door of the restaurant, protesters chanted "Coward!" and clucked like chickens. 

Not 10 minutes later, Scott dashed out the back door, caught on video this time, by the Herald Tribune. According to people at the scene he was not able to make himself heard inside, so he skipped the planned speech.

Politico reported: 

RED TIDE RICK — Hours after facing a vocal group of protestors who called him ‘Red Tide Rick’ at a Senate campaign stop in Venice, the governor canceled a planned event in Collier County for his “Make Washington Work Again” bus tour. In an email send Monday night, Collier County GOP Chair Ron Kezeske said the stop at Naples Lumber was not happening due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Scott’s campaign did not return a request for comment. It’s not the first time Scott canceled a stop on the tour because of protestors.

It’s the latest blemish on Scott’s “Make Washington Work” bus tour. Scott canceled an event at a Santa Rosa Beach doughnut shop as opponents of legislation he signed that could block public access to some beaches. The bill has sparked controversy as beachgoers feud with beachfront property owners. Scott’s campaign has also been criticized for giving little or no public notice before the bus stops, and using his private plane to fly to some while trying to make it appear as though he was on the bus.

Scott dove into a black SUV waiting for him by the restaurant's back door, so it is not known if he boarded his bus in the parking lot. (If you saw him get on the bus, please let us know.)  He canceled his next event in Naples, according to the Naples Daily News.

The fleeing Scott might have been airborne, but his bus was carrying several "Red Tide Rick" bumper stickers as it departed Venice. One is visible to the right of the license plate in our photo below.

Here's some more of the news coverage of the protest:

  • The front page of the Englewood Sun.
  • Video of Scott making a dash out the back door by Zac Anderson of the Herald Tribune.
  • The Washington Post's "'Red-tide Rick has got to go:' Protesters run Florida governor out of campaign rally."
  • Englewood Sun Editorial: "There's No Back Door To Leadership," chiding Rick Scott for ducking out the back door rather than talking with protesters.
  • Associated Press on WPTV (West Palm Beach TV).
  • Englewood Indivisible's video, tweeted.
  • Report on Suncoast News Network, our local ABC station, entitled "Chaotic Campaign Stop For Rick Scott in Venice."
  • Huffington Post: "Red Tide Protesters Drive Florida Gov. Rick Scott From Campaign Stop"
  • Orlando Sentinel: "Rick Scott comes to Orlando after canceling Southwest Florida event"
  • Tampa Bay Times: "A bumpy bus tour comes to a close for Rick Scott"
  • Daily Kos: 'Red Tide Rick' Scott being booed out of a Gulf Coast restaurant may be the best thing you see today
  • The HIll: "Florida governor booed out of restaurant over red tide algae issues"
  • Fox 35 Orlando (Included because it is inaccurate almost to the point of fantasy): "Protestors confront Governor Rick Scott about red tide"
  • All In With Chris Hayes, MSNBC on October 19th, used a bit of Englewood Indivisible's video in its report on red tide.
  • Washington Post (again, 6 weeks after the event), October 30th: "Florida Senate race was Rick Scott's to lose, but he is haunted by his environmental record" 
  • Inspired by a report on our action in the Palm Beach Post, Ben McAlevey hung this sign on I-95 in Palm Beach Gardens.
  • Protesters gather shortly before noon.
  • Protesting #RedTideRick in Venice
  • Photo by an Englewood Indivisible member. The Red Tide Rick bumper sticker is to the right of the license plate.

News Archive