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Thousands take Miami streets for two nights of pro-Palestine protests

By Cassia Laham

Miami protests Israeli attacks on Palestinians.

Miami, FL – Thousands of people from across South Florida took to the streets of Miami two nights in a row this past weekend in solidarity with Palestinians who continue to resist Israeli violence and the ongoing occupation of Palestine. The calls to action were put out by South Florida Jewish Voices for Peace and Al Awda: The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition and were supported by most progressive community organizations throughout the area.

On Saturday night, May 15, thousands of protesters flooded Biscayne Park and the Torch of Friendship before taking over the streets of one of the busiest areas in South Florida. Activists held signs that read, “Palestine will be free” and “Stop the genocide in Gaza,” as others waved large Palestinian flags. Chants of “Free, free Palestine,” reverberated from the glassy Miami skyscrapers as protesters marched through the financial district of downtown Miami.

Sunday night’s protest took place in Wynwood, Miami’s art and design district. Once again, an unending sea of protesters took to the streets, shutting down the entire district known for its murals, drinks and overpriced eateries. Notable signs included, “Jews for justice in Palestine,” and “Israel is an apartheid state.” Protesters chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” as their banners and flags waved in the wind. Even the passing Miami rainstorm did not deter protesters from marching and chanting.

Perhaps most impressive was the amount of support from onlookers, shoppers, restaurant employees and customers. Cars honked in support, passersby raised fists in solidarity, patrons stood from their tables and clapped. Unlike past Palestine demonstrations in the area, no counter-protesters showed up.

Organizers reported that both nights of protest were each the largest gatherings for Palestine South Florida has ever witnessed. They vowed to continue the movement with two upcoming events Tuesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 20 in Fort Lauderdale.

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