“A Day of Solidarity” raises $1600 for Palestinian women


Carolyn Hauschild

Winona State University hosted “A Day of Solidarity” on Monday, April 11. The event was presented by the WSU Students for Palestinian Liberation and sponsored by the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Political Science departments.

The WSU Students for Palestinian Liberation club, newly revived this school year, helped put together last week’s campus-wide event, “A Day of Solidarity”.

Put on throughout Monday, April 11, the event was organized for the Winona State University community to learn about Palestinians living under Israeli occupation as well as raise funds and collect donations. Presented by the WSU Students for Palestinian Liberation, the event was also sponsored by the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Political Science programs.

Featuring two speakers in the early afternoon, the first speaker was Alexis Salem, a Winona State alumni and founder of the WSU Students for Palestinian Liberation club. Held in Somsen Hall at 11 a.m., Salem spoke to students about their work surrounding the occupation of Palestine.

At 12 p.m. the day’s second speaker, Dauod Nassar, a representative from the organization Tent of Nations and a Palestinian farmer from Bethlehem, Palestine, spoke with attendees via Zoom. Nassar’s farm has stood for over one hundred years since its start by Nassar’s grandfather and continued maintenance by his father and uncle, then being passed down to him. Although located in Palestine, the farm is situated in the middle of Israeli settlements, resulting in consistent conflict for Nassar. Since 1992, Nassar has been in a legal struggle with the Israeli government, which is trying to declare his farm and the area surrounding it as state land.

Nassar has faced constant pressure from the Israeli government, trying to drive him and his family off of their farmland. This pressure has included physical attacks from the Israeli military and settlers, resulting in hundreds of the farm’s olive trees being destroyed. Further, while Nassar’s farm has had their access to running water or electricity cut off, they collect rainwater and create their own electricity with solar panels.

Goods sold at the gazebo during the day of solidarity. (Carolyn Hauschild)

Despite conflict, Nassar and his family have remained non-violent in their resistance to Israelis. However, the Israeli settlements have continued, expanding around the land and attempting to squeeze Nassar and his farm out.

At one point during his speech, Nassar stressed the important role that women play in the Palestinian liberation movement as well. Another aspect of the Day of Solidarity event was the Palestine Partners’ booth, set up next to the gazebo at the heart of Winona State’s main campus. The booth operated from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. selling Palestinian-made fair-trade goods. Items being sold included jewelry, bags, scarves and various accessories made by women in the Hebron area.

WSU Students for Palestinian Liberation also collected donations at both the gazebo and Somsen 331 location for their project, Political Education for Global Transformation: Youth Books about Palestine from Palestine. The goal of the project is to donate youth books to local libraries in Winona in an effort to educate the youth about Palestine and the Israeli occupation.

According to the club’s Secretary and Treasurer, Cassidy Vogel, a legal studies, conflict studies and WGSS student, said the goods booth earned around $1600 and the earnings will be sent to the women in Hebron.

“[“A Day of Solidary”] went much better than I ever expected,” Vogel said.



*The online version of this article has been edited from its print version to provide further clarity and additional details.