It doesn’t cost money for demonstrators to organize a rally.
“But when you’re trying to rally everyone, it does take a little more coordination. When you take it from a grass roots level to organized, you’re going to have expenses,” said Miik Martorell, president of Pride Fort Lauderdale.
Martorell is one of the organizers of the South Florida Equality Rally for Unity & Pride – Sunday, June 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Huizenga Plaza, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.
To help raise the money needed, organizers have set up a GoFundMe page –GoFundMe.com/EqualityRallyFTL. As of May 15, $650 has been pledged from five individuals in the first five days after the page was established. Information on the event is available on Twitter and Instagram under @EqualityRallyFTL or on Facebook at Equality Rally for Unity & Pride Fort Lauderdale.
Martorell said the money will be used to rent the plaza from Fort Lauderdale, pay for insurance, rent portable toilets, and hire off-duty police officers to provide security and keep the crowd from spilling into the street. “You have to make sure you rent the area you’re having it at because who knows if someone else is going to be there. We’re trying to be respectful. If we don’t pay for [the police officers] then the taxpayers will.”
He estimates the costs could be as high $10,000 but he doesn’t have an exact figure. Individuals are also donating items to help offset costs.
Martorell added that the message organizers are trying to send will “go a lot further” if the demonstration is respectful and well organized. In the past, protest groups that became violent or disrespectful often received more media attention for their behavior than their message. “Would you want our community to look foolish by not organizing properly?” asked Martorell.
Along with money, it also takes individuals to show up and plan the event.
David Jobin, CEO and president of Our Fund, said that with each community planning meeting, more and more people show up. He estimates that over 100 will show up to the next meeting –
Monday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m. at The Pride Center, 2040 N Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors.
Jobin and the other organizers hope to get someone from every group they say is impacted by the Trump administration, including Muslims, gays, lesbians, transgender individuals, teachers, and African Americans. “We’re trying to attract somebody from Black Lives Matter, the teachers union . . . all groups being marginalized by this administration, and that includes almost everyone,” Jobin said.
“Whether you care about science, women’s rights, minority communities, religious minorities.
That’s our plan, to have everyone represented. I’m excited to see where all of this goes. There’s no reason we can’t make a real statement that day.”