TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of people turned out at Curtis Hixon Park on Sunday as part of a “free Palestine” protest.
It was the third protest just this weekend, with several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters making their voices heard in Tampa; spreading a message of support for the Palestinian people.
“The Palestinian’s, they don’t have a voice. They’re being silenced by the Israelites,” said Frahan Rashid, a “free Palestine” protester.
The last several days the Palestinian community has held protests at different places throughout the city, hoping to spread their message far and wide.
“The mainstream media is only showing one side of the story. They’re not showing what’s going on with the Palestinians, it’s always, ok, well there’s a lot of talk about Israel and all that stuff, but to summarize, making sure that American people understand what Palestinians have been going through,” said Ahmed Rhazi, a “free Palestine” protester.
It’s a message protesters feel has been muddled and one-sided.
“The U.S., a lot of politicians, whomever, they are so afraid of Israel, it’s not even funny,” said Rashid.
It’s a conflict dating back centuries, and protesters in Tampa want to see an end to it in their lifetime.
“We want people to know what we believe in. We want people to know that we are standing with the Palestinian people. We’re not just gonna sit here and let all of our tax dollars go to Israel where they’re killing our people,” said Brween Dahla, a “free Palestine” protester.
But they want to be clear about who and what they’re fighting.
“This is Zionism. Zionism is different from Judaism. Anti-Semitism is different from anti-Zionism, and the oppressors, they want to link that, but it’s very clear that Muslims have nothing against Jews,” said Rashid.
Community organizers say they plan to hold more “free Palestine” protests throughout the city in the future, in hopes of spreading their message.