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South Florida rallies for Ahed Tamimi and Palestine

By Cassia Laham |
February 5, 2018
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Some of the participants in South Florida rally in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi
Some of the participants in South Florida rally in solidarity with Ahed Tamimi (Photo by Carlos Naranjo)

Fort Lauderdale, FL- On Feb. 3, 30 members of the South Florida community gathered outside of the Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale to protest the illegal and unjust imprisonment of 16-year-old Palestinian Ahed Tamimi. The protest, which was called, “Free Ahed and ALL Child Prisoners,” focused not only on young Ms. Tamimi but also the 300-plus other child prisoners being held in Israeli occupation jails.

At the protest, activists held signs that read, “Free all children from occupation,” and “Stand up for Ahed and all of Palestine.” As they congregated along the sidewalk along the busy intersection at Broward Boulevard and SE 3rd street, the group shouted chants such as, “Jail Bibi, free Tamimi!” and “IDF, what do you say? How many kids you kill today?”

After about an hour of chanting and sign-waving, the group gathered to hear speeches from various organizations. Donna Nevel, a lead organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace, was one of those who addressed the crowd.

“We stand firmly with the Palestinian people and join them in their calls for justice, to live in their homes and on their land without constant violence and abuse at the hands of the Israeli government,” Nevel said. “We stand with Ahed Tamimi and her family and the people of her village, Nabi Saleh, who are courageously resisting injustice!”

Thousands of Palestinians remain in Israeli occupation prisons under phony charges or without having been formally charged with any crimes. In these prisons, they are often subjected to harsh conditions, threats against their families, and torture. It is in these same prisons that the Israeli Defense Forces lock up young Palestinian children for throwing rocks at armored tanks, attending protests, or simply being related to politically active people.

Young Palestinians standing up against the Israeli government and its soldiers are forming a new threat to the Israeli establishment. They are deciding to fight back against the U.S. insistence that Palestinians accept a fate doled out to them by imperialist U.S. and apartheid Israel. Ahed Tamimi is a symbol of the new resistance, born and raised under occupation, violence and war; refusing to accept anything but a totally free Palestine.

As the chants died down in Fort Lauderdale, the protesters reaffirmed their commitment to do their part as activists in the U.S, to combat U.S foreign policy that does harm to children and all others in Palestine and in countries throughout the world.

The protest was organized by a coalition of various groups including POWIR, Al-Awda South Florida, Jewish Voice for Peace South Florida, National Lawyers Guild Miami and Friends of Sabeel South Florida.