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Tallahassee residents rally to commemorate 73rd Anniversary of Nakba massacre

By staff |
May 31, 2021
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Tallahassee, FL - On May 22, over 200 people gathered at the Old Historic Florida Capitol Building to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance against the latest wave of Zionist attacks.

Just the day before, Israel announced a ceasefire, which did not deter the Palestinian community and its allies from still showing up for Palestinian liberation.

This May marked 73 years of Nakba, the brutal relocation of Palestinians by Zionist settlers in 1948. Every year Palestinians commemorate this massacre and fight to return to their homeland.

Last week on May 15, Nakba Day, at Lake Ella Park more than 50 Tallahasseans showed up to commemorate the Nakba massacre and fight against the continuous displacement of Palestinians.

When asked why another event was organized, Trish Brown of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee said, “We need to mourn the lives of those that were taken. We need to respect those stolen lives and need to connect with the Palestinian community to let them know that we are here, and we are a shoulder to lean on. Things that are happening overseas also impact what is happening here in the U.S. with Black Lives Matter. Last week’s event was an attempt to bring all those from our community, from Black-led organizations, faith leaders, students and community members. It is about building a coalition, unification, empowering our communities and continuing the fight. We saw what happened before and after the cease fire. This is horrific, so we stand with the Palestinian community and we will continue build community relations. We are all brothers and sisters.”

Brown led the most recent protest on May 22.

The crowd of protesters held signs that read, “End U.S. aid to Israel, free Palestine” and “From Tallahassee to Palestine, occupation is a crime” and “Defend Palestine, defund Israel.”

Trish Brown of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee emceed the event. Brown led many chants during the rally including “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “When Palestine is under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight back!”

Community spiritual leader Laith Jumah, one of the key community members who worked on organizing the event, started off the occasion with a prayer.

Regina Joseph of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Ahmed Rashidi from Council on American-Islamic Relations, Jacob Muldon from Students for a Democratic Society, School of Dance Profesor Hannah Schwadron, also spoke.

Bana Zafer Habash, from Students in Justice in Palestine, spoke, “How long are we going to stand here and let our grandparents suffer looking at their old house keys, knowing that they will never be able to return? How long are we going to sit here and stand for genocide, people kicked out of their homes every single day? It did not stop in 1948, it did not stop in 1967. It is going on currently in Sheik Jarrah. People are being kicked out of their homes.”

As darkness fell, attendees were invited up onto the capitol steps and were provided lit candles to honor the lives of Palestinians stolen by recent bombings, and also throughout the whole of the Nakba - which has yet to end. The event closed out with TCAC’s Trish Brown leading the crowd in a well-known Assata Shakur quote, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains!

Continuing the fight

Last week on May 15 at Lake Ella Park more than 50 Tallahasseans showed up to commemorate the Nakba massacre with a vigil and fight against the continuous displacement of Palestinians.

Groups like Students in Justice in Palestine are fighting on Florida State University’s campus to push for BDS - Boycott Divestments and Sanctions - a frequent call at both events. The group has also led efforts on campus to reinstate former FSU Student Body President Ahmad Daraldik, a Palestinian-born American. Last year Daraldik lost his position as FSU student president for critiquing the Israeli occupation. Palestine Legal has taken up his case.

When asked about next steps, Regina Joseph of the FRSO said, “We must continue the fight. We have to overthrow the ruling class that oppresses Palestinians and Black people. We have to build a multinational working class fight. Solidarity is the only way we can win.”