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Over 250 in South Florida protest Israeli terror, remember the dead

By staff

Fort Lauderdale, FL protest Israeli terrorism in Palestine

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Over 250 people gathered at the Federal Courthouse here, Aug. 2 to protest U.S. support for Israeli terrorism in Gaza. As the bombs continued to drop on the people of Gaza, people of South Florida joined together to stand in solidarity with Palestine and demand an end to U.S. aid to Israel. This was the third major rally for Palestine in South Florida in three weeks.

The rally began in the evening, with protesters chanting “Free, free Palestine!” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this racist war has got to go!” Palestinian flags waved high above the gathering and signs called for peace with justice for Palestine. Cars honked in approval and passersby joined in the gathering.

In the past two weeks, national leaders and people of the world have risen up to denounce Israeli war crimes in Gaza and to support Palestine. Since the Israeli Operation Protective Edge began over a month ago, more than 1700 Palestinians have been killed. Gaza has no electricity, entire towns are leveled, the hospitals there are overwhelmed, bodies are decaying in the streets, and no place – including shelters – is safe from Israeli aggression.

About an hour after the protest started, the chants came to an end. The crowd became somber and quiet as the protesters formed a large circle at the front of the courthouse for a memorial to the victims in Gaza. People were asked to come into the center one by one to read aloud about 1000 names of innocent men, women and children murdered by Israeli missiles and bombs.

Emotions ran high as the names and ages of the fallen were read by people of all ages, races and religions. Pain, sadness and anger overtook many who approached the megaphone in the center of the circle. It was soon evident entire families were wiped out by Israel, and that many of the people killed by Israel in the past month were children. The youngest victim memorialized at the rally was four months old.

As names of innocent victims were read to a silent crowd, a group of about 15 counter-protesters waving American and Israeli flags across the street began shouting. Their disrespect for the dead was obvious as they chanted, “Go Israel!” and “Go home terrorists!” in between names.

After the names were read, however, the voices of the few counter-protesters were drowned out by the roar of 250 people chanting, “We. Are. We are all Palestine! We. Are. We are all Palestine!” Protesters say they will continue to organize until there is justice for Palestine.

The protest was organized by Al-Awda South Florida, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Green Party of Broward County.

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