Local and state leaders condemned antisemitic slurs that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said occurred at a weekend demonstration.
The incident happened Saturday near Alafaya Trail and Waterford Lakes Parkway.
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Deputies said about 20 demonstrators gathered on public property yelling profanities and antisemitic slurs at passing vehicles, with a fight breaking out between someone and several of the demonstrators.
No arrests were made, but local and state leaders spoke out against the rhetoric. Read their comments below.
The demonstration comes two weeks after anti-Semitic fliers were distributed in several Florida cities. Last month, hate speech signs were displayed from an I-95 overpass in Port St. John.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
“Antisemitism and hatred are not welcome in this community. Despite displays of hate in Central Florida this weekend, our collective commitment to building an inclusive, compassionate community for all is stronger than ever.”
Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis
“Gov. Ron DeSantis has ALWAYS condemned antisemitic attacks & hatred, and he always will. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong. I am confident that Florida law enforcement will respond appropriately and justice will be served to any protester who violates the law.”
Orange County Sheriff John Mina
“I am aware of the antisemitic demonstration in Orange County. I along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office deplore any type of hate speech. This hatred has no place in our society. Any reports of criminal activity will be thoroughly investigated.”
U.S. Rep. Val Demings
“Yesterday neo-nazis rallied in Orlando. But America beat their disturbing ideology before and we’ll do it again. As a police commander I saw similar rallies, and I also saw that for every Nazi there were a hundred Floridians there to stand up for what’s right.”
State Rep. Anna Eskamani
“I knew at a very early age that Nazis were the bad guys — and to see Nazi scum so publicly come out and attempt to organize in Central Florida is absolutely disgusting. They even spelled “Let’s Go Brandon” wrong on their banner, which is what I would expect of Nazi idiots. Every politician in the State of Florida should condemn this behavior and push back against policies that feed into this dangerous ideology. Nazism is against every value we hold as Americans, and we must be united against antisemitism, homophobia, racism, and ableism. I also ask every person who agrees to make a donation to the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida so that we will never forget the atrocities of Nazism and fascism.”
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott
“The hateful & anti-Semitic demonstrations reported in Florida today have no place in our state. Across America, we’ve seen a heartbreaking & disgusting rise in hate like this. We must always condemn it & continue to stand strongly with our Jewish communities.”
The hateful & anti-Semitic demonstrations reported in Florida today have no place in our state. Across America, we’ve seen a heartbreaking & disgusting rise in hate like this. We must always condemn it & continue to stand strongly with our Jewish communities.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 31, 2022
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon
“Supporting causes that promote hatred towards others has no place in our country. We stand in solidarity in support of our Jewish community.”