‘We will continue to fight’: Pro Palestine advocate speaks out following weekend protests in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — Pro-Palestine protests over the weekend ended with people pepper-sprayed and two arrested.


The group took to the streets of downtown and around Lake Eola, demanding a ceasefire and asking elected officials at local and national levels to stop sending aid to Israel as the country continues its offensive in Gaza.

The demonstrations were peaceful for the most part. More than a thousand people showed up holding signs and speaking out against the war in the Middle East.  

But at some point, the protest took a turn, and demonstrators clashed with the police.

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In a statement, the Orlando Police Department said the two people arrested will be charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. However, they did not explain exactly what happened or how a law enforcement officer was assaulted.

OPD also said officers used a handheld chemical agent at a group that became disruptive. A reaction the organizers called unnecessary. “That kind of excessive force should not be used on peaceful protesters,” said Rasha Mubarak, Founder of Florida Palestine Network. “There was large amount of people in attendance, especially families, there were young children, as young as young children that are in strollers.”

According to OPD, protesters were not allowed to use megaphones, and the organizers knew that. “With over 2000 people. You know, not everybody knows what permits we have,” said Mubarak. “Someone used a megaphone. That’s when Orlando Police Department started to brutalize some of the protesters, resulting in detaining two young attendees.”

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With a death toll surpassing 35,000 people in Gaza, the advocate says the crisis impacts people all around the world. “This absolutely is a local issue. These are our taxpaying dollars, that our funding is genocide,” the advocate said.

The two people who were arrested in the protests have since been released. Channel 9 reached out to the Orlando Police Department to ask for comments regarding the allegations of police brutality, but we received no response so far.

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