by Camille Marino
NIO Florida co-founder, Lisa Grossman, appeared in Alachua Criminal Court this morning to accept a plea agreement of six months probation for violating a trespass order at the University of Florida earlier this year.
UF’s lawyers approached the bench and had the terms of the agreement changed to one full year probation during which time the activist must agree to have absolutely no contact with the university.
Lisa and her lawyer addressed the Court refusing to accept these terms. Grossman spoke articulately citing a lawsuit that NIO filed against UF last month demanding access to public vivisection records that we have been denied now for over a year. Currently, the university is in noncompliance with Florida state law. They are now under a Court order to turn over this information by November 23.* Therefore, we fully expect that within 24 hours, UF will stand in contempt of court in this state as well. Grossman refused to relinquish her First Amendment rights to legally and peacefully address this issue nor was she willing to abandon our anti-vivisection campaign at this institution.
Upon having these facts entered into the official record, UF acquiesced and the original terms of the plea agreement were reinstated.
Grossman struck a blow this morning for the constitutional rights of every activist who’s been touched by repression.
*Update: UF’s response to the court is now scheduled for December 1.