Waving vibrant Palestinian flags and holding head-turning signs, students and community members gathered Wednesday at the Allen Street gates to protest the conflict in Gaza.
About 20 protestors braved frigid weather to brandish signs such as "You can't bomb a resistance out of existence" and "Use tax $$$ for jobs, not bombs in Gaza."
Chants of "Free, free Palestine" echoed in the street and protesters passed around a megaphone, loudly declaring their beliefs.
"We will not allow the media and government to brainwash people into believing that some lives are more important and valuable than others," shouted a female demonstrator.
The demonstration was in response to Israel's offensive in Gaza, launched Dec. 27 to halt years of Palestinian rocket attacks, according to The Associated Press. As of Wednesday, the death toll in Palestine exceeded 1,000, about half being civilians, according to the AP.
Brandishing a Palestinian flag, Isaac Kassis, Class of 2008, said, "Israel's actions speak louder than the words of Hamas. We want people to question what they know."
The protest drew spectators throughout the afternoon, including some students who simply wanted to be informed of current events and others who defended Israel.
"I know there is a conflict going on and I plan on sticking around to see if I can learn more about it," spectator Steve Balucha (sophomore-kinesiology) said.
Some Jewish students passing by rebutted the Palestinian demonstration.
"What about Israel?" Mike Caplin (junior-hotel and restaurant management) yelled at the Palestinian supporters. "Palestine is the one that was throwing rocks. Israel is just trying to stay alive. Israel never starts the fights. We only finish them."
Kassis stressed that not all of the protestors were of Palestinian descent. Emerson Begolly (sophomore-religion) said he is Chechen, a people currently under Russian rule. He attended because he said he sympathized with Palestine's situation.
Student demonstrators came to the gates in between classes to support the Palestinian peace effort. The demonstrators said the protest was an effective method of raising awareness for Palestine's situation, which Kassis said was his personal goal.
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent practices, Isra Ahmed (junior-political science) said, "We need to stand in unity with the people suffering in Gaza."
Despite temperatures in the teens, demonstrators stood strong, thanks to warm coats and several canteens of coffee. They would also step intermittently into nearby university buildings to warm up, Azree Azhar (junior-actuary sciences) said.
Kassis organized the event independently of Students for Justice in Palestine, a club at Penn State, but said they have worked together on other events.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.