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updated 7/22/2013 8:46:28 PM ET 2013-07-23T00:46:28

The state of Florida has become ground zero in the nationwide fight to repeal "Stand Your Ground" laws. The protest outside Governor Scott's office has lasted more than a week.

The state of Florida has become ground zero in the nationwide fight to repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws, and dozens of protesters have put their lives on hold as they maintain a sit-in protest outside Governor Rick Scott’s office.

The “Dream Defenders” showed no signs of backing down Monday, the demonstration’s seventh day. The group’s political director, Ciara Taylor, joined PoliticsNation Monday to talk about why she and her colleagues are refusing to budge from Tallahassee.

“We’re just feeding off of each other’s positive energy and the support that we’ve had from the community in Tallahassee as well as around the country,” she told Rev. Sharpton.

The protesters have said they will maintain their sit-in outside Scott’s office until he calls a special legislative session on the “Stand Your Ground” law.

Nationally, reviewing “Stand Your Ground” laws has some bipartisan support, with President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and most recently Sen. John McCain supporting the idea. But when Scott met with protesters last week, he said he was sticking by the advice given by the 2012 “Stand Your Ground” task force that determined it should be kept in place.

“The task force was just a complete sham,” Taylor said.

“We knew from the moment that we heard the names of the people that were going to be on the task force that the task force was inherently biased,” she said. “Because a lot of the people who were on it, helped create or at least were open supporters of Stand Your Ground.”

Gov. Scott reiterated his support for the law Monday, saying he would not call a special session, but he did say he would have his Department of Juvenile Justice secretary speak with protesters.

Taylor praised Democratic State Sen. Chris Smith for his call for the state legislature to, at the very minimum, discuss the issue.

“If they continue to ignore the crisis that is on our hands in Florida, it can only get worse,” she said.

Video: Spotlight on 'Stand Your Ground' laws

  1. Closed captioning of: Spotlight on 'Stand Your Ground' laws

    >>> the state of florida is ground zero in the fight to repeal stand your ground laws. for seven days and six long nights, group known as the dream defenders have taken over governor rick scott 's office at the florida state capitol in tallahassee. 40 of them will be spending the night inside the building. they're demanding the governor convene a special legislative session to address the state's stand your ground law and a new civil rights bill, the trayvon martin act .

    >> whose world is this?

    >> the world is ours, the world is ours, the world is ours.

    >> whose world is this?

    >> the world is ours, the world is ours, the world is ours.

    >> here in the state of florida , here in america period, repeal stand your ground . repeal sb -- repeal zero tolerance policies. because they matter. these kids here, they matter. to me, they matter to florida , and governor rick scott , they think they matter to you.

    >> governor rick scott was finally forced to answer questions. but has refused to meet their demands. but the defenders have no plans on leaving. law enforcement says they are allowed to stay as long as they don't disrupt official business. and now support for their cause is growing. joining me now is the political director of the dream defenders, sierra taylor. she organized the protest and has spent several nights in the capitol. thank you for being here tonight, sierra.

    >> thank you so much for having me.

    >> how is the group holding up?

    >> they're holding up so well. we all are. we are just feeding off of each other's positive energy and the support that we have had from the community in tallahassee as well as around the country.

    >> now, governor rick scott has been forced to answer this issue because you brought it so front and center dramatically. and on thursday, i want you to listen to what he told the press on this issue. listen to this.

    >> i put together a task force of 19 individuals, bipartisan. they travel the state. they listen to ordinary citizens. they listen to experts. and they concluded that we didn't need to make a change to the law, and i agreed with their conclusion.

    >> thank you.

    >> yep.

    >> thank you, everyone.

    >> will you call a special session , governor, on civil rights ? will you call a special session , governor, on civil rights ? governor, why are you in such a hurry to leave?

    >> why are you in such a hurry to leave? good question. what are your thoughts on that task force , ciara?

    >> my thoughts are as they have always been that the task force was just a complete sham, you know. governor -- the governor keeps saying that he can be in a task force to look into stand your ground . but we knew from the moment that we heard the names of the people who are going to be on the task force that the task force was inherently biased. because a lot of the people who were on it helped create it, or at least were open supporters of stand your ground , rather.

    >> now, a lot of people might wonder why i'm raising this. but the stand your ground law directly impacted the case of george zimmerman and trayvon martin and is why we had this great movement that many of us were dealing with nationally. since this happened and larly in over 100 cities this weekend. the florida defense law cited in the jury instruction reads, quote. this is the jury instruction the judge gave to the jury that determined the fate of george zimmerman . she wrote -- she instructed the judge "if george zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground. does your group feel stand your ground is partially responsible for the death of trayvon martin and the resulting case?

    >> yes, yes. the dream defenders do feel as though stand your ground was a part of what allowed george zimmerman to walk free today to get the not guilty verdict. however, we also feel that other legislation that disproportionately affects black and brown people like zero tolerance policies and racial profiling within law enforcement are also a part of what allowed george zimmerman to walk free. because we talk about it as the criminalization of our youth. and we feel as though that's what killed trayvon martin.

    >> now, florida state senator chris smith appeared on msnbc this morning. let me play you what he said.

    >> if the legislature comes back and we don't even discuss it again, if we just put our heads in the sand and pretend everything is fine, you will see voices growing. and i wouldn't be surprised if it gains more momentum if we don't at least discuss it. and that's why we've been pressing the legislature to at least hear the bills. at least let's start the discussion, let's do what the president has said, let's do what senator mccain has said, let's at least have that discussion in the legislature. last year they avoided it. this year is the time to at least act and discuss the issues.

    >> what is your response to senator smith?

    >> we agree with the senator smith. we actually supported his reform bill of stand your ground . and he is absolutely right. you know, if they continue to ignore the crisis that is on our hands in florida , it can only get worse.

    >> ciara taylor of the dream defenders. thank you so much for joining us. and good luck.

    >> thank you. and i hope to see you on friday.

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