Veterans for Peace march to Washington, D.C.

Veterans taking part in an anti-war walk from Maine to Washington, D.C., stopped in Philadelphia on June 14-15.

The Peace Walk 2024 began May 7 in Ogunquit, Maine, and will conclude around July 4 or 5 at the NATO summit in Washington, D.C. Under the general theme “Silence the Drums of War,” participants are calling for an end to the threat of nuclear war and all wars.

After crossing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from New Jersey on June 14, walkers held a press conference at Independence Park near the Liberty Bell. The next day, in their first “direct actions event,” they rallied outside Day & Zimmermann, makers of bombs, shells and missiles, including many used by the Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinians in Gaza.

Veterans Peace March outside Day & Zimmermann, Philadelphia, June 15, 2024. (WW Photo: Joe Piette)

The veterans were joined by local anti-war activists, including Tina Sheldenm, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Betsey Piette, Workers World Party; and Joe Piette, who read a statement from Puerto Rican activist Fermin Morales, a member of IBEW (electricians) Local 98 who previously did work for Day & Zimmermann.

Morales said: “Day & Zimmermann is a partner in crime with the settler-colonial state of Israel in perpetration of genocide against the Palestinian people, because it is providing ammunition to the Israel Defense Forces. Day & Zimmermann needs to divest itself from the apartheid state of Israel and the military-industrial complex.”

Following the rally at Day & Zimmermann, marchers gathered outside Israel Bonds seller Development Corporation for Israel where they protested the purchase of these bonds by state and municipal governments.

Peace March protests purchase of Israel Bonds, Philadelphia, June 15, 2024. (WW Photo: Joe Piette)

Their flier noted: “State and local treasuries across the U.S. invest hundreds of millions in the state of Israel. A record-setting $2 billion in sales was made in 2023 with $1 billion raised since Oct. 7 while Israel bombed hospitals and laid waste to infrastructure in Gaza. Under Stacy Garrity, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department invested $20 million in 2023. We will encourage Pennsylvania to divest until Israel agrees to end the occupation of Palestine.”

The day ended with a “Merchants of Death Tour” where walkers delivered “Cease and Desist” orders to 10 U.S. weapons profiteers with offices at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. These companies included Advanced Integrated Technologies, American Systems Corporation, AMSEC/Hll, Continental Tide Defense Systems, Inc., GBS Group, Naval Surface Warfare Center, NOBLIS MSD, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Paramount Enterprises International and Peraton.

Workers World Philadelphia bureau

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Workers World Philadelphia bureau

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