Cassia Laham is a Florida activist.
United National Anti-war Coalition
Washington D.C. - The Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! is building for a rally and march against U.S. wars and racism in Washington D.C. this Saturday, March 30 2019.
“Oppose NATO, War, and Racism! Oppose U.S. intervention in Venezuela!” is the theme for a rally starting at 1 p.m. across from the White House in LaFayette Park.
“President Trump is threatening a U.S. invasion of Venezuela. Trump just announced he wants to add Brazil to NATO, so he can order them to war against Venezuela. We need to stand in solidarity with Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution!” said Cassia Laham, a member of the FRSO and a leader with the United National Anti-war Coalition.
In 2008, Cassia Laham worked on The Circuit newspaper staff at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, near Fort Lauderdale.
Laham has been on staff since her sophomore year and entertainment editor for the past two years.
While journalism will be her major at UF, Laham also has a love for political science and social work.
In the fall Laham plans to get involved in cultural organizations on campus and write for a local paper.
“I really think journalists are so important in informing,” she said. “The biggest way to help people is by telling them what’s going on”.
Anti Afghan War protest
About 35 people in white T-shirts gathered on the Plaza of Americas October 2010 to protest the nine-year anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan.
The rally was led by the UF chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
The event featured eight speakers who spoke about a variety of topics: from the plight of women in Afghanistan, to facism in America, to the U.S. presence in South Korea.
Trayvon Martin rally
Over 200 students, community activists and supporters rallied and marched from the University of Florida campus to the downtown FBI office on March 26, demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.
Protesters gathered in the blazing sun near Turlington Plaza on the University of Florida campus to begin the event and listen to speakers demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.
Speaking about the racism and oppression faced by African-Americans, Chief Steward Jose Soto of Graduate Assistants United said, “We are not one nation as our pledge suggests. We are many nations. We gather here today, just as we rallied for Kofi Adu-Brempong two years ago this month, to demand justice and self-determination for African American people.”
Despite the intense hostility and best efforts of local law enforcement, the 200-strong chain of people stormed onto University Avenue, blocking an entire lane of traffic. Cops shouted at the protesters to get back onto the sidewalk, but the angry crowd ignored them. At one point, two police cars tried to block the road by turning sideways in front of the march, but Gainesville Area Students for a Democratic Society member Conor Monroe bravely jumped out to keep the road from being closed.
After the mile-long march was over, the crowd arrived at the foot of the FBI Field Office in Gainesville. The main doors into the building were locked, but members of Gainesville Area SDS found a secondary entrance. A ten-person delegation made their way upstairs to the FBI Field Office, which was located inside a Wells Fargo bank. Meanwhile, the crowd chanted, “No justice, no peace, no racist police” outside.
Inside the FBI Field Office, the delegation demanded a meeting with a member of the FBI. FBI officials demanded that the delegation leave the building and claimed that the police were on their way. “The police followed us here as we marched in the streets, and they're standing around outside, what do you mean they're on their way? We want a meeting to present our demands to the FBI,” Students for a Democratic Society member Cassia Laham shouted back.
Commemorate Al Nakba
Anti-war activists, students and Palestinian Americans gathered in Miami. May 2014, to commemorate Al Nakba, which means “the catastrophe.” Al Nakba refers to the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians when they were violently forced off their land by Zionist militia groups in May 1948.
Organizers planned three days of remembering Al Nakba. The first occurred May 15, at Saint Jude Melkite Catholic Church in downtown Miami. 40 people gathered to give personal and historical presentations, share food provided by Al-Awda ( the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) and read stories of those who experienced forced removal from their homes and land. It was very moving. As one Palestinian speaker explained, “That night I cried too, as I tried to sleep alongside thousands on the ground. Would I ever see my home again?”
Organizer Cassia Laham, from People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR) said, “It is important to remember that Al Nakba is not just an historical event. It is still ongoing as illegal settlements are continuously being built on Palestinian land. The U.S. government should stop sending our tax dollars to Israeli.”
Didier Ortiz of People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism, and Racism (POWIR) also spoke.
International Workers Day
About 50 people waving flags and banners gathered at the Torch of Friendship, May 1, to celebrate International Workers Day. Members of various South Florida progressive, socialist and anarchist organizations joined together for this event, which included speeches and a brief march down busy Biscayne Boulevard.
Didier Ortiz, from Broward County Green Party, spoke out against capitalist corruption. "The rich capitalists, they are all united - they don't care about religion, or morals or politics. All they care about it getting more money. And they want to get it at the expense of all of us, our lives, and our labor. So we too need to be united and fight against them!"
"We stand here today in recognition that the system we are being forced to live in right now is rotten from the inside-out," said Cassia Laham of Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!. "We recognize that this same system is responsible for the slaughter of thousands abroad by the U.S. military machine. And we know the only way to defeat it is to struggle together in unity!"
The gathering was put on by One Struggle, Miami Autonomy and Solidarity and Broward Green Party. It was also meant to show solidarity with the NATO 3, three activists who have been sentenced to five to eight years in prison for protesting at the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012.
“State Repression and the War on Terror”
A group of 50 people gathered at the First United Church of Tampa, February 2015, for a panel discussion, “State Repression and the War on Terror.” Speakers focused on the U.S. government targeting of Arab-Americans, Muslims and anti-war activists for political repression.
“Only the fish that opens its mouth gets in trouble,” said Attorney Hassan Shibly of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Shibly advised individuals to remain silent and call their lawyer when facing intimidation and questioning by the FBI. CAIR offers representation to clients for free.
Another panelist, Cassia Laham, spoke about the growing student movement in opposition to U.S. support for Israeli and for the liberation of all of Palestine. She helped found Students for Justice in Palestine at University of Florida.
“We have a duty to keep organizing together to keep moving forward,” Laham said. Currently she is active with People’s Opposition to Imperialism, War, and Racism (POWIR) in Miami and organizes in solidarity with Palestinian American women’s leader Rasmea Odeh.
- [ http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/stands-for-peoples-opposition-to-war-imperialism-and-racism-news-photo/525538588#stands-for-peoples-opposition-to-war-imperialism-and-racism-worn-by-picture-id525538588 The Alligator, Student protestors speak out against Afghan war Alexander Klausner, Alligator Writer Oct 8, 2010]
- [http://www.fightbacknews.org/2012/3/27/gainesville-florida-sds-marches-trayvon-martin FightBack News, Gainesville Florida SDS Marches for Trayvon Martin By Fernando Figueroa | March 27, 2012]
- FB News, Miami celebrates May Day By staff | May 1, 2014
- FBNews, Tampa event opposes U.S. war and political repression By Jessica Schwartz | February 23, 2015