By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

CWU alumni and students demonstrate in Ellensburg to show solidarity for the Palestinian people

Yohanes Goodell
The demonstration began on the corner of Pearl St. and 4th Ave, eventually moving in front of the court house off of Main Street.


There were around 15-20 individuals made up of students, alumni and locals who were in attendance (Yohanes Goodell).

The words “Palestine will be free” echoed through the streets of downtown Ellensburg last Thursday, Nov. 9. Demonstrators, made up of a diverse body of CWU students and local townspeople, rallied a unanimous voice advocating for the Palestinian people as a result of the ongoing Israel-Hamas War in Gaza. 

The Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) put on the event, with many of the lead organizers being alumni of CWU. The demonstration group first began on the corner of Pearl Street in front of D&M Coffee. The group marched together until they reached the Lower Kittitas County District Court on Main Street. 

Many of PSL’s organizers spoke at the event. One of these speakers was 2023 CWU alumnus, Landis Hanson.  

Hanson said there must be a reformation of a single state in Palestine where every individual has equal rights, regardless of one’s ethnic background.

“Ethnic divisions do not determine peace, we do not need hegemony for peace, we need democracy,” Hanson said. “We need equality.” 

Also in attendance was Ben Hansen, a 2019 CWU alumnus who became a member of PSL earlier this year. He stated that the goal of the demonstration was to create space for people to come out and speak for themselves.

“I think with what’s been going on in Gaza, a lot of people are kind of watching in horror,” Hansen said. “We stand with the Palestinian people and are against all forms of oppression.” 

The demonstration occurred, coincidentally, the day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib after her remarks of “from the river to the sea,” which Republicans deemed as promoting “false narratives.” Tlaib is the only Palestinian-American in the House and was comforted by representatives who accused the opposing side of islamophobia and creating a hindrance for aid for the Palestinian people, according to a New York Times article published on Nov. 7.

The censure was recognized during the demonstration, with many PSL members and demonstrators disagreeing with the majority House vote to censure Tlaib. 

Hansen voiced his support for Tlaib, highlighting that “it is narrow-sighted and an attack on her and the Palestinian people and anybody who’s standing in solidarity with Palestine.” 

A third PSL member, Jaden Thacker, was also in attendance. Thacker is a fifth-year anthropology major at CWU. During the demonstration, he stood in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Thacker said he not only believes that Palestine is an oppressed people, but he also strives to state that the issue in the Gaza Strip is part of a bigger issue in the world.

“Where there is oppression anywhere, there will always be those who are oppressed,” Thacker said. 

Thacker said how important it is for people not living in Gaza to support the Palestinian people, highlighting that by advocating for the freedom of the Palestinian people, they would act as the catalyst to helping resolve social issues here in the United States. 

“Fight for Palestinian freedom and to push the community forward to a spot where the community fights for the freedom of everyone,” Thacker said. 

 Thacker said that he himself sympathizes with the oppression they’re enduring, but hopes that the world will move forward towards a peaceful solution.

“I want people to be safe, people to be happy, people just be able to live their lives without fear of oppression and discrimination,” Thacker said. 

This was not the first nor the last Palestine demonstration from this group, having first protested outside Black Hall on Oct. 11 and most recently marched through the CWU campus on Nov. 14.  

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