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‘Day Of Resistance’ Brings Pro-Palestinian Protest To College Avenue

Nearly 75 Palestinians and supporters gathered at the Allen Street Gates Thursday night for Penn State Students for Justice in Palestine’s “Day of Resistance,” a rally in solidarity with Palestine.

The event, hosted by the Penn State Students for Justice in Palestine, the People’s Defense Front of Northern Appalachia, the Student Committee for Defense and Solidarity, the Palestinian Feminist Collective, and the Deep Roots Collective, was held following the breakout of war between Israel and Hamas that has killed around 2,800 people as of Thursday.

The purpose of the event, according to paper handouts given out to attendees, was to “stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people as they continue to fight against genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Israeli state” and to “mourn the lives lost from the onslaught of murderous Israeli attacks against Gaza.”

Supporters shouted chants like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution” for about an hour as the sun set in downtown State College.

Roua Daas, a graduate student and organizer of the event, led many of the chants and introduced a slate of Palestinian speakers who addressed the crowd.

“The point of today was to stand in solidarity with Palestinian people who are currently enduring bombing after bombing after bombing at the hands of Israel,” Daas said. “As of now, to my knowledge, the latest number is 1,200 Palestinians that have been murdered. Over 300 of those have been children.”

Daas noted she believes there’s support for Palestine in many corners of the world and those who back Palestine promote “freedom, justice, and equality of all people.” However, Daas criticized the U.S. government and the Biden administration for its support of Israel.

“I went to Palestine this past March, and when we were there, we talked to folks that told us that Israeli soldiers come take 12-year-old children, 12-year-old boys out of their beds in the middle of the night,” Daas said to the crowd. “That is what our money funds. That is what the U.S. pays for. After the killing of over 1,000 Palestinians over the past five days, Biden approved $2 billion in aid for Israel. We will not rest until Palestine is free. We will not rest until every single one of those dollars is not sent. That is in our hands, and that is why were are here today.”

Across College Avenue from Daas and the Day of Resistance protest, Israeli supporters silently held signs and lit candles in opposition. One student’s sign read “I’ve never celebrated Palestinian death,” while others lifted Israeli flags.

“I’m here in support of my people,” Jared Schwartz said while holding the double-sided handmade sign. “I’m here to mourn, not fight.”

“When I see people staying silent with this violence against Jewish people around the world, it’s scary because I know how it escalates, and I know how it ends… I want these people to know that we are here, we are proud, we support peace,” Benjamin Himmel said. “We mourn the dead, and they mourn their killers. It’s scary to see that this is happening on my campus.”

Despite one scuffle between a Palestinian ally and members of the Israeli supporters in which police on stand-by got involved, the Day of Resistance protest remained peaceful, and Palestinians departed in groups, as instructed by Daas.

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, horizontal time, and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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