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“Free free Palestine!”: Jacksonville activists decry U.S. support of Israel

Activist groups and many Jacksonville residents joined together Monday evening to speak out against those supporting Israel, drawing a line connecting the conflict overseas and the Black liberation movement in America. 

Chants of “Free free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” echoed off surrounding buildings as they protested in front of the Duval County Courthouse. Later, they marched around it. 

Local activist groups, like the Jacksonville Community Action Committee and the University of North Florida’s Students for a Democratic Society, have already pledged their support for Palestine.

“There are no two sides to the issue. There is only the oppressor and the oppressed,” Marlo Crosby, the vice president of UNF SDS, told the assembled crowd. “[UNF SDS] express unequivocal support for Palestine. There’s only one way this can end: Palestine reclaiming their lands.”

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Click through the gallery below to see scenes from Monday night’s rally. 

Since fighting began on Saturday, more than 1,600 people have been killed on both sides, according to the Associated Press. The AP reported that thousands more have been wounded on both sides, including civilians. 

Multiple speakers in Monday’s rally called on America to separate Hamas from Palestinians.

“Hamas is an Islamic militant movement and one of Palestinian territories’ two major political parties,” according to the Council of Foreign Relations. “It governs more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but the group is best known for its armed resistance to Israel.” The group was designated a terrorist organization in 1997 by the U.S., the AP reported.

On Sunday, the Pentagon announced it was sending additional munitions to Israel and moving Navy warships closer to the country “in a show of support,” the New York Times reported. Israel is an ally of the U.S.

Stay with Spinnaker as we continue to cover the Israel-Hamas war’s impact on the UNF and Jacksonville community.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Carter Mudgett
Carter Mudgett, Reporter
Carter Mudgett is a University of North Florida student majoring in multimedia journalism. He was Spinnaker's editor-in-chief from August 2021 to December 2023. Carter led Spinnaker to be awarded a 2023 Online Pacemaker Award, and most recently placed second in the Society of Professional Journalists's Sunshine State Awards for "Best Coverage of LGBT Issues" in the college category. Backed by a passion for creative storytelling and accurate reporting, Carter typically covers education, gender and race issues.

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