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    Actor joins in rally criticizing Florida's GOP

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 7, 2002

    Two years ago, 11,000 people marched on Tallahassee to protest Gov. Jeb Bush's One Florida plan to reshape affirmative action. It was, organizers said, the largest civil rights march in Florida since Reconstruction.

    Wednesday night, a far smaller crowd filled a Tallahassee church to hear leaders from the civil rights, labor and women's movements say their work isn't over.

    Actor Alec Baldwin, who is on the board of the liberal group People for the American Way, made a guest appearance. So did Democratic candidate for governor Janet Reno, who came to the rally at St. Mary's Primitive Baptist Church as part of her "red truck tour" across Florida. Reno sat in a pew near the front as a spectator.

    Speaker after speaker slammed Gov. Jeb Bush and Republican Secretary of State Katherine Harris for the bungled 2000 presidential election. Baldwin called Florida's performance "horrific" and said the state should be doing more to make sure all votes get counted in the fall.

    State Sen. Kendrick Meek, a Democrat from Miami, and former state Rep. Tony Hill, a Jacksonville Democrat, both spoke. The two rose to prominence in Florida's civil rights movement after they held a sit-in at Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan's office to protest the Bush administration's changes to affirmative action.

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