Demonstrators rally outside courthouse to call for dropped charges for pro-Palestine USF protestors

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Tampa Allaince Against Racist and Political Repression organizer Joseph Nohava speaks in Downtown Tampa // Chris Young, 5/21/24

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A Pro-Palestine demonstration at the University of South Florida resulted in 13 arrests last month. Activists rallied outside of a Tampa courthouse Tuesday to demand charges be dropped.

“Hey hey, ho ho, these charges have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho, these charges have got to go!”

Dozens of protestors waved signs and rallied outside of the Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa. They’re advocating for the courts  to drop charges for those arrested during the protests at the USF Tampa campus.

The Tampa Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression put the event together. Joseph Nohava is one of the organizers.

“Ron DeSantis doesn’t like what they have to say about what’s going on in Palestine, and so he’s acting through his puppet, Suzy Lopez, to charge innocent people for speaking out – using their first amendment rights.”

Simon Rowe spoke at the rally. Rowe is one of the 13 arrested and faces a charge of trespassing.

“Legally I have pled not guilty, the state offered me a misdemeanor intervention program, and they are still offering it until June 26th.”

Rowe says it’s been a stressful and nervous time.

USF president Rhea Law issued a statement last month saying the protest was unlawful and not peaceful, adding protestors were given several warnings before being arrested.

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