Tampa, FL - On Oct. 25, the Tampa Committee to Stop FBI Repression held a solidarity event to support the Holy Land Five on the corner of Fowler Avenue and 56th Street, which is within the heart of the Muslim community here. Members of the local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) were also there to show their support, as well as other members of the community. People waved signs reading, “Charity is not a crime!” as the busy rush hour traffic slowed down and drivers showed their support.
“We only got positive feedback. Most of the people who knew about the Holy Land Five were from the nationalities their persecution was intended to send a message to. Some drivers yelled out support for Palestine,” said Walt Byars, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.
A storm threatened to wash out the event, but the protesters remained at their place. Upon arriving, a police officer attempted to disperse the group. Despite these turns of events, the support from passing drivers and the interest from the local media kept the event running. The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not they will hear the Holy Land Five’s final appeal later this month. In the current climate of repression from the government, it is important for events like this to continue, as a way of showing the 1% that the 99% will not remain silent.
“Today we showed solidarity with not only the Holy Land Five, but all Palestinians struggling to escape discrimination, persecution and national oppression. Having a nationwide showing of resistance and solidarity helps maximize the struggle here and overseas,” said Matt Hastings, also with SDS.