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Three Arrested in Protests Near Disney World That Shut Down Interstate

Three young men's faces superimposed on a highway background with directional signs to an airport and Disney World, overlaid with the word "ARRESTED" in bold red text during a pro-Palestine protest.
Credit: Disney Dining

Three individuals who participated in a protest that blocked part of Interstate 4 near the Walt Disney World Resort have been arrested.

A busy highway with multiple lanes of traffic under a clear sky. Overhead signs indicate directions to an international airport and Disney World, hosting pro-Palestine protests, with lush greenery on either side of the road.

Credit: Becky Burkett

Pro-Palestinian Protests Block Interstate on the Way to Disney

On Saturday, a small group of protesters gathered along Interstate Highway 4 near Disney World, blocking traffic along the roadway for about 10 minutes. Their efforts were foiled when Florida State Highway Patrol officers responded to calls about the situation and dismantled the demonstration.

The protesters, identified as 26-year-old Isabella Giannosa, 24-year-old Jenni Nguyen of Winter Garden, Florida, and 24-year-old My Truong of Oviedo, Florida, were arrested by troopers and charged with refusing to obey a police officer–a misdemeanor in the state of Florida. The trio was transported to the Orange County Jail.

Mugshots of three individuals with different facial expressions and hairstyles. Each person is wearing glasses and facing directly towards the camera.

Credit: Orange County Jail

Per The Orange Observer, the protesters appear to have connections with a group known as Central Florida Queers for Palestine.

Conflicting Claims Via Social Media

Via social media, the Central Florida Queers for Palestine claimed that Orange County, Florida, “is withholding bail, physically intimidating our community members, and lying about their [sic] booking procedure.”

Protesters holding banners that say "FREE PALESTINE" and "LOOK UP NAKBA 1948" across a road, with police vehicles present and traffic signs overhead.

Credit: X/@stustustudio

However, on Sunday, May 12, the day after the protests and ensuing arrests, the three protesters had already been released on a bond of $1,000 each. The person who acted as depositor was listed as Tamara Yousef from Dr. Phillips, Florida.

The three defendants are scheduled to appear in court before a judge on June 25, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.

“Our people are free,” one post about the scenario reads. “Thank you to everyone who donated, shared, called, and uplifted our comrades.”

Public Reception of the Disruption

According to @stustustudio on X, formerly Twitter, a father who was frustrated by the protesters blocking the interstate got out of his vehicle to air his grievances.

One Dad was not having it that Central Florida Queers for Palestine was blocking the exit to Disney World. One of the activist jumps into the car to leave, but the police are already on the scene. They keep recording as they start to drive off.

A collage of two images: a bald man in sunglasses and a checkered jacket standing by a highway, first looking to the side, and then gesturing with his hands while talking.

Credit: X/@stustustudio

The protests come as tension continues to mount between Israel and Hamas in response to an explosive conflict that began on October 7, 2023, when Hamas militants launched a retaliatory attack in Israel, killing more than 1,100 Israelis and taking hundreds hostage.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

One comment

  1. Sorry but had they pulled that on Sunday, I would have driven around them and made sure that everyone behind me saw the way around as well. And then I would have called the cops we don’t play that game in FLA!. You would think that if they were Gay. they would know how Hamas feels about Gays by tossing them off buildings.

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