Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Twin Cities Panel on International Women’s Day: Stand with the women of Palestine!

By staff

Freedom Road Socialist Organization event marking International Women's Day

Minneapolis, MN – On Friday, March 8, over 100 people gathered for a panel on International Women’s Day discussing the fight against gender oppression and practicing international solidarity in local movements, specifically solidarity with the women of Palestine. The event was hosted by the Twin Cities District of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

The panel featured activists who organize across different struggles including Palestinian liberation, immigrant rights, anti-police crimes, climate justice, and abortion access. The room was decorated with Palestinian flags, banners and signs that read: “Stand with the women of Palestine” and “Defend LGBTQ rights.” Attendees were offered a pamphlet with information on different local movements, how they relate to women’s rights and the fight against gender oppression, and how to get involved.

The night began as the attendees took their seats and the emcees introduced Olivia Crull from Freedom Road Socialist Organization to kick off the panel. Setting the tone for the evening, Crull stated, “International Women’s Day isn’t simply an opportunity for reflection. It’s a call to action, to take from our revolutionary history and chart a path forward, There is no better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than to extend our unconditional solidarity and say victory to the Palestinian resistance.”

Next up, panelists spoke on the ways that they combat gender oppression in their work and voiced their solidarity with the women of Palestine. Nicole Mason, a local leader at Camp Nenookasi, which supports a majority indigenous unhoused population, explained that camp residents feel a strong connection to the plight of Palestinians, with both experiencing displacement and instability. Mason stated, “We talk about people in Palestine all the time at our camp, and that it’s not much different. Feeling out of control in your own country is horrible.”

Iemawn Chughtai, an organizer with the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, touched on the ways that both Israel and the U.S. regularly perpetrate gendered violence, and argued that “Israel dehumanizes Palestinians the same way that the U.S. dehumanizes immigrants.”

Autumn Lake, an organizer with the Minnesota Abortion Action Committee, addressed the relationship between reproductive rights and occupation, stating, “We recognize that the denial of bodily autonomy to Palestinians is one of the tools most frequently used by the Israeli occupying forces, just as it’s an effective tool for repression and control here in the U.S.”

From the movement against police crimes, organizer Jae Yates of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar explained how people living under national oppression have shown the most consistent solidarity with Palestine, stating, “No other people on earth know the evils of apartheid more intimately than those in the African diaspora laboring against the legacy of slavery.”

The standout speech of the evening came from panelist Mariam El-Khatib, activist, artist and leader from American Muslims for Palestine, whose words captured the unwavering resistance of Palestinian women. “The Palestinian woman is unbreakable,” El-Khatib said. “They have faith, strength, resolve. They have a connection to the land that cannot be manufactured. They have families and communities that learn from them and will continue carrying their strength until Palestine is free from the river to the sea.”

After a fiery program that included three standing ovations, the night ended with the chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” echoing across the hall as attendees filtered out, inspired and motivated to take the streets for an International Women’s Day March for Palestine the next day.

#MinneapolisMN #InternationalWomensDay #Palestine