SoCal coalition demands ‘No U.S. weapons for Gaza genocide!’

Targets weapons profiteers Boeing and RTX

Fatinah Judeh of Unmute Humanity speaking in front of the LA Times building. SLL photos: Steven Almeida

On one of the hottest days of the year thus far, hundreds of demonstrators representing over 20 organizations gathered in the blistering heat at a complex in El Segundo, California, shared by Boeing and RTX, formerly known as Raytheon. 

They were there to demand an end to the provision of U.S.-made arms to Israel and denounce the role of billionaire weapons makers in the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Some activists from the Black Alliance for Peace had traveled nine hours from Tucson to participate.

Banners and signs were attached to the gates of the Boeing/RTX campus in El Segundo, charging the weapons manufacturers with complicity in the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. The group then marched down to the Los Angeles Times building to demand honest and accurate reporting of the atrocities in Gaza. 

Since Oct. 7, 2023, Boeing and RTX have seen record profits. In the weeks immediately following the outbreak of the conflict, weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, among others, have experienced a nearly $30 billion surge in market capitalization, according to Forbes. This has been mainly facilitated by Congress and the Biden administration’s extensive military aid packages, which include numerous F-15 Joint Strike Fighters, Apache attack helicopters, and thousands of laser-guided missiles, bunker-busters, and other munitions that Israel has utilized in its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, the death toll from the conflict reached at least 37,626 on June 24. Save the Children estimates that more than 21,000 children are dead or missing in Gaza.

At the first rally, Ayman Obeid of the Free Democratic Palestine Movement told the crowd, “All of these U.S. weapon manufacturing facilities that are participating in the transfer of these illegal, prohibited, and destructive weapons to the zionazi enemy make them complicit in human rights abuses, to violations of international law, crimes against humanity and the genocide and devastation taking place against our people in Gaza now. These disgusting, dirty war profiteers and criminals should be punished and sent to jail where they belong. They must be held accountable for putting the tools of death in the hands of the zionazi murderers who are committing these savage crimes and for spilling innocent pure Palestinian blood on their monstrous hands.”

Similar sentiments were also echoed by several other speakers at the demonstration, who drew the connection between the devastation and mayhem experienced in Gaza and the death merchants here at home, demanding that enough is enough.

Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter delivered a message of Black solidarity with Palestine when she said, “We demand a world free of genocidal terror. We demand a world free from the kind of capitalist structure that is hellbent on exploiting both its workers and all of the people of the world. … We demand that and are willing to put our bodies on the line for that.” Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter Movement co-founder, is Cornel West’s running mate in the 2024 presidential campaign.

When the rally at the site of the weapons makers concluded, the crowd took over all four lanes of East Imperial Highway and marched a mile east to the Los Angeles Times building. Among the speakers was Fatinah Judeh from the Unmute Humanity organization. Judeh blasted the Times for its pro-Zionist reporting and history of completely ignoring the brilliant and widespread protest movement that has taken to the streets over and over again since the Zionist genocide against the people of Gaza began. Soon after the Zionist state launched its bloody assault, the Times banned 38 of its own reporters from covering Gaza after they signed an open letter criticizing the paper for its pro-Israel bias.

The crowd then took over all four westbound lanes of Imperial Highway for a slow march back to the original site, stopping for yet another impromptu rally along the way. 

Endorsing organizations for the June 22 demonstration include Al-Awda, Association of Raza Educators, BAYAN, Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice, Catholic Worker LA, CODEPINK LA, Free Democratic Palestine Movement, Healthcare 4 Us, Justice 4 Palestine Contingent, Jewish Voice for Peace LA, LA Lavender Guard, Struggle-La Lucha, Students for Justice in Palestine from both Santa Monica College and UCLA, Union del Barrio, Unmute Humanity, and Veterans for Peace LA, and others. 

Melina Abdullah delivers a message of Black solidarity with Palestine.
John Parker

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