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Palestine protest disrupts major Democratic Party fundraising event

By Cassia Laham

Pro-Palestine protest at MadSoul Music Festival

Orlando, FL – A group of 300 people gathered outside of Loch Haven Park, March 2, in downtown Orlando to protest Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza and to demand, “No business as usual,” while the United States continues to aid, fund, and supply Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people.

The protest was called for by Central Florida’s End to Genocide Coalition and was meant to disrupt the MadSoul Music Festival going on inside the park and raise awareness about the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people by Israel and the United States.

The MadSoul festival itself was a fundraising event presented by local Democratic Congressman Maxwell Frost. It was attended by various musical and political stars such as Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and musical producer Lin Manual Miranda. But the people of central Florida were not going to allow Democrats, no matter how purportedly progressive, to celebrate and carry on with their, “business as usual,” while aiding and abetting the occupation of and war against Palestine.

“I’m here protesting today in solidarity with the people in Palestine resisting their occupiers, and to oppose the ongoing genocide being committed by Israel, backed by the United States,” said Edmund Anglero, of the Orlando chapter of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “The two major parties are equally as complicit in Israel’s war crimes, and we will continue organizing and protesting for Palestine until the ruling class in this country stops arming and funding Israel. We will continue protesting until Palestine is free!”

The protest began at the corner of the Lock Haven Park, with hundreds of people shouting chants, such as, “Joe Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” They held signs that read, “End U.S. aid to Israel” and “Palestine will be free!”

After hearing from several speakers, the protesters began to march toward the festival itself.

As the march circled around the perimeter of the park, dozens of festivalgoers stopped what they were doing, abandoned the festivities, and joined in on the protest, chanting from inside the event itself. People, largely youth, from across the MadSoul festival marched on the inside of the park fence, fists in the air.

For two hours, activists both inside and outside of the festival had managed to drown out musical artists and politicians, shouting chants of, “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes!” and “From the sea to the river, Palestine will live forever!”

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