Jacksonville rally supports Palestinian liberation
Jacksonville, FL – Over 100 people rallied in support of Palestine, October 9, in front of the Duval County Courthouse in downtown Jacksonville.
A large portion of those who attended were members of Jacksonville’s Arab community, including many Palestinians. They were motivated to attend the demonstration after recent events in Palestine, where the movement to defeat Zionism is growing stronger. People around the world are watching as Palestinians are fighting for liberation and the end to Israeli apartheid.
Protesters called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel. After hearing from several speakers, the crowd marched around the courthouse, chanting and holding signs. Those who participated in the demonstration and march could be heard chanting loud enough to echo around the downtown area: “Free, free, Palestine!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” The family of Le’Keian Woods, a young man recently beaten by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was also present and spoke on the need for different movements to support one another.
Several organizations helped to facilitate the rally, including the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Members of Students for a Democratic Society and the Jacksonville Community Action Committee also attended and spoke during the event.
Maria Garcia, a member of the Jacksonville Community Action Committee, spoke to the crowd, saying, “The struggle for justice knows no borders, and in unity, we find strength. We’re in this together, fighting for justice, freedom, and the right to live without oppression. From Palestine to Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville to Jerusalem, we stand as one against the tyranny of occupation.”
Jessica Machin spoke to the crowd and delivered a statement of support for Palestine written by Freedom Road Socialist Organization. After the rally, she said, “Tonight I was proud to see over 100 people in Jacksonville stand together in solidarity with their Palestinian neighbors against the decades of atrocities committed by Israel. It’s been made clear who the real enemy is, and I was happy to hear chants like ‘Palestine is our demand, no peace on stolen land!’ It was a great reminder on Indigenous People’s Day that Israel is an evil occupying state funded by U.S. tax dollars.”
The protesters vowed to continue showing support for Palestinian liberation and made plans to continue organizing events with the Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network.