Mass protests continue solidarity with Palestine, honor Aaron Bushnell

Five months into the uprising that began October 7, there has been no letup in the movement in solidarity with Palestine. Many of the recent protests paid tribute to heroic Aaron Bushnell, a U.S. Air Force member who self-immolated outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25 in protest of U.S./Israeli genocide in Palestine. His martyrdom is hailed around the world.

Philadelphia, March 2, 2024.

Health care workers gathered outside Philadelphia City Hall on Feb. 29 to speak against the ongoing horror and criminal actions of the U.S. and Israel in destroying hospitals and killing health care workers in occupied Palestine. Denying the residents of Gaza adequate health care, food and other necessities of life, as the Zionists continue to bomb whole families and neighborhoods, is nothing less than genocide.

After the rally, many participants entered City Hall to speak to their city council representatives, urging them to pass a resolution against genocide and occupation. More than 50 U.S. cities have passed resolutions calling for a permanent ceasefire in Palestine.

Anti-war activists demonstrated their solidarity with Palestine, recognizing Aaron Bushnell’s ultimate sacrifice, at a vigil March 1. They gathered outside the world headquarters of military contractor Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, March 1, 2024.

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest arms manufacturer. The blood of millions of people killed with its weapons stains every penny of the $70 billion the company expects to make in sales in 2024. 

The arms manufacturer provides the Israeli Air Force with F-16 and F-35 aircraft, as well as related components, including F-35 helmet-mounted display systems, training and maintenance services, as well as other weapons. The company handed over more than $14 million to election campaigns and committees of both the Republican and Democratic parties in 2023. (

Philadelphia, March 2, 2024.

Despite rain, hundreds marched in Philadelphia on March 2 to demand “Hands off Rafah!” “Ceasefire Now!” and “Stop the genocide!” The demonstration was in response to a call for demonstrations around the world to “Shut it down for Palestine!” During the march from City Hall to the U.S. Customs House, the protesters shut down traffic for half an hour on the Ben Franklin Bridge, the city’s main bridge between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This was the first time that the interstate road was successfully blocked by protesters.

New York City, March 2, 2024.

Global day of solidarity March 2

Thousands of people gathered in Washington Square Park and marched through the streets of New York City on March 2 for a free Palestine. The scene was described as a sea of umbrellas as protesters braved driving rain for hours as well as police harassment.

Charleston, West Virginia, March 2, 2024.

Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists in Charleston, West Virginia, held a “Palestine Car Rally” on March 2. Lead organizers Sara Haroon Yousef and Maryam Rawash led a caravan of 25 vehicles flying Palestinian flags and emblazoned with slogans such as “Ceasefire Now!” and “Free Palestine!” Some slogans, “Do Better Mayor Amy” and “Silence is Violence,” took Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin to task for being an opponent of the city passing a ceasefire resolution. (Read more  

The caravan wound through the city and in front of the state Capitol building as vehicles played Palestinian music loudly. Public reception was much more favorable than expected with honks and waves drowning out the two or three pro-Zionist individuals who displayed opposition to the caravan. Upon seeing the caravan, some supportive drivers joined it. Activists vow to keep up the fight with more demonstrations until the Zionist state is brought to justice.

Denver, March 2, 2024.

Over 2,000 people marched in support of a Denver Global Rally for Palestine on March 2. They took to the streets of a shopping center to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and against the murderous Israeli occupation, genocidal bombing and starvation. The contrast of the protest with the opulently stocked Whole Foods in the background is sharp, as Israel, with U.S. blessing, has laid siege to Gaza, blocking food to adults and children.

Portland, Oregon, March 2, 2024.

Traffic came to a dead stop on the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown Portland, Oregon, on March 2 as over 1,000 people took to the streets to call for an end to the genocide in Palestine. In a demonstration organized by local and national groups, including Intifada and the Oregon To Palestine Coalition, people came out as a response to a call for a global day of solidarity to say “Hands off Rafah!” and to end the siege of Gaza as a whole.

The crowds more closely resembled those of earlier mass protests that took place in the initial stages of the Al Aqsa Flood that began October 7. This was possibly due to recent events like the Flour Massacre and the sacrifice of Aaron Bushnell. The Feb. 28 vigil in Portland for Bushnell attracted international press attention. Because of this surge, the people united were able to shut down traffic twice within a few hours as the march made a return trip to Lownsdale Square. Speakers reminded protesters to keep steadfast in their resolve to work for a free Palestine.

Jey Cleyton, Joe Piette, Viviana Weinstein and the Workers World West Virginia Bureau provided on-the ground protest coverage for this article.


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