Donald Trump Supporters Ejected from Governor DeSantis Book Signing Event – Was it Anti-Free Speech?

On Tuesday, March 1st, 2023, supporters of former President Donald Trump were ejected from a book signing event for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The group was clad in Trump shirts and signs, and had been demonstrating in the parking lot.[0] Video of the incident posted online by far-right activist Laura Loomer, showed a security guard telling the group: “They told me to say anybody wearing Trump has to go right now.”[1]

The guard later said that DeSantis’ people had instructed him to have them leave the store while the Governor was signing books. Loomer responded, asking if they had a first amendment right to be there, to which the guard replied, “Right, you do. But not now.”[2]

Loomer then said, “Police showed up and they told us that we were going to be cited and arrested for trespassing if we didn’t leave because DeSantis didn’t want us inside. It shows that he’s a tyrant.”[3]

The Leesburg Police Department were called and a captain advised the Trump supporters that they were on private property and would have to move to the sidewalk.[4] Reluctantly, the protesters complied.[4]

The incident has sparked outrage from Trump supporters, who accuse DeSantis of being “anti-free speech”. Loomer posted several tweets regarding the incident, writing: “Governor DeSantis, he always talks about how he’s in favor of free speech. So do we have a first amendment right to be here, to rally in support of President Trump?”[2]

The Leesburg Police Department did not respond to’s request for comment.[0] However, the security guard’s own words seem to suggest that DeSantis was, indeed, anti-free speech. He said, “Listen, I am a Trump supporter.[5] I’m doing my job, dude.[6] You’re on private property, you need to leave.[6]

0. “DeSantis book signing event in Florida turns away Trumpers” Daily Mail, 1 Mar. 2023,

1. “Trump Supporters Ordered To Leave Ron DeSantis’ Book Signing” Radar Online, 1 Mar. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis branded a ‘fascist’ after Trump supporters are barred from book signing” Express, 1 Mar. 2023,

3. “Trump Supporters Reportedly Banned from DeSantis Book Signing” Truthout, 1 Mar. 2023,

4. “Villagers among Trump backers demonstrating at DeSantis’ book event in Leesburg” Villages-News, 1 Mar. 2023,

5. “DeSantis team accused of threatening Trump fans with police outside of book signing: ‘And the battle begins’” The Independent, 1 Mar. 2023,

6. “Were Trump Supporters Asked to Leave DeSantis Book Signing? What We Know” Newsweek, 1 Mar. 2023,

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