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Hundreds gather to support Palestine in South Florida

By staff

Cassia Laham of POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism)

Fort Lauderdale, FL – 400 people protested outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse here to demand an end to the Israeli massacre in Gaza. The large demonstration called for the U.S. to end all military aid to Israel. Also, protesters denounced biased U.S. corporate news reporting about the Israeli war on Palestine.

In this latest offensive against the people of Gaza, Israel has killed over 400 Palestinians in their homes and neighborhoods. Israeli shelling is now leveling entire villages. There is no time between explosions for families to even mourn their dead. Meanwhile, President Obama continues to reiterate the U.S. unwavering support for Israel.

In Fort Lauderdale, the hundreds of protestors who gathered expressed their anger and frustration toward the U.S. and Israeli governments continued war against the people of Palestine. Protesters waved large Palestinian flags and held signs reading, “Free Palestine now,” “One state is the only solution,” and “Stop using my tax dollars to fund Israeli terror.” Cars driving by honked in solidarity with the crowd.

“We are here to demand one thing: Free Palestine!” Anas Amireh, lead organizer with Al-Awada South Florida, told the crowd. “In this country, we are seeing cuts to education, cuts to social and public services, entire cities like Detroit going bankrupt, and yet this government continues to use over $3 billion of our taxes every year to fund Israeli occupation and war crimes against the Palestinian people!”

Protesters chanted, “Netanyahu, shame on you, kids are dying ‘cause of you!” Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is vowing to continue the assault on Palestine. A majority of those in attendance were Palestinians, many of whom have family living in Gaza. Emotions ran high as the crowd chanted, “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die!”

“Let's continue to organize against a for-profit economic and political system that banks on continued war and terror in Palestine and everywhere!” Cassia Laham, an organizer with POWIR, said. “Let's organize against any and all U.S. intervention in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Let's organize against political repression of activists, especially in the Arab communities, by the U.S. government. That is how we can help put an end to what is happening all the way in Palestine!”

The large crowd dispersed after two hours, vowing to continue to organize and protest until the bombs stop dropping on Gaza and Palestine is free. The event was organized by a coalition of local progressive groups including Al-Awda (Palestinian Right to Return Coalition), POWIR (People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Anas Amireh, of Al Awda speaking at Fort Lauderdale rally.

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