Pro-Palestine march through the streets of Sarasota

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Dana Saleh, a Palestinian, with her son, daughter, and new born baby. By: Josh Holton (4/13/24)

On Saturday about 30 pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets of Sarasota to demand a cease-fire in Gaza following Israel’s 6 month assault on Palestine in the wake of the surprise attack last year by Hamas on October 7th. While the march was peaceful, tensions were high.

“Free, free, free Gaza. Free, free, free Gaza…”

That’s Rahim, a young boy using a megaphone for the first time. His mother Dana Saleh is Palestinian and said her family was displaced from their home in 1948, and landed in the West Bank.

“But if my grandpa decided to go to the Gaza side, it could have been us under the rubble, maybe.”

She said she can’t see herself voting for Joe Biden after Israel’s assault on Gaza has left more than 10,000 children dead.

“I want him to actually cease fire- to not send any more weapons.”

 

 

But the chants for a free Palestine ignited the ire of pro-Israeli onlookers who wanted to highlight the Hamas attack last year.

“Israel’s 9/11! Israel’s 911!”

One of those onlookers assaulted protestor Luna Cassandra.

“And she came up to me and started screaming, ‘Why do you have a mask on, what are you scared of?’ And then she grabbed at my mask on my face! Luckily a bunch of people, you know, intercepted and stopped her and broke it up.”

A vehicle also nearly ran into the crowd as they were on a crosswalk, prompting a protestor to strike the car in response. Neither the driver nor the person allegedly hit by the car cooperated with law enforcement on the scene, and no charges were filed.

 

 

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