Jacksonville rallies for Gaza
Jacksonville, FL – On Saturday, November 11, over 1500 people gathered with the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network (JPSN) to rally for Gaza. The gloomy weather did not stop community members from gathering at a major intersection at Brightman Boulevard and Town Center Parkway in the busy shopping hub of the city.
All ages were represented, as families brought their children and elders proudly wearing keffiyeh, waving Palestinian flags, and holding signs honoring the martyrs that have died. Signs included messages that read, “10,000 dead, 4500 children,” “The only peace Israel wants is another piece of Palestine” and “Do you condemn genocide?”
Leaders from JPSN spoke on behalf of the Floridians in attendance expressing how they don’t agree with Governor Ron Desantis’ support for Isriel. They told the group that State Representative for Florida House District 13 Angie Nixon’s resolution on a ceasefire, HR 31C, which she filed on November 6, should be supported by other politicians.
Chants at the rally included,” Israel, Israel we know you. You imprison children too,” “End the tension, stop the crime, Israel out of Palestine” and “Netanyahu what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?”
There was an overwhelming amount of support that came from people driving by in their cars. Drivers would honk their horns and hold up a V sign out of their windows to show solidarity with the ralliers on the ground. Participants in the crowd spanned across racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, showing that no matter individuals’ differences, anyone could stand in support for Palestine.
A member of JPSN shared why the group gathered the community together. “It's important for our communities to grab onto the power available to them in the streets. We want to mobilize the people, make their voices heard and let the rest of this community know that we won't be silent at home for atrocities that we are directly complicit in abroad.” They went on to share how the violence abroad directly affects people in Jacksonville.
“We have factories and investors right here in Jacksonville that directly supply the IDF. There are also Zionist issues at the state and local level we need to combat. Since 2019, Florida law has ridiculously codified any rhetoric that “delegitimize Israel” as antisemitism. Our own city council recently passed a resolution to stand with Israel, sponsored by a warhawk who used to work at Raytheon and Safariland. We have a sheriff who went on an ‘enlightening’ trip to watch the IDF in action.”
JPSN calls on the community to stand with them in combating Zionism. They demand an end to U.S. aid for Israel and that state representatives to stop resisting calls for a ceasefire.
The rally lasted from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and ended with a group prayer in a nearby stretch of grass for the Muslim attendees. To find out more about JPSN, you can follow them on social media at JaxPSN.