Ang Bayan Ngayon » American soldier self-immolates to protest US-Israeli genocide in Palestine

February 27, 2024


This article is available in English

“I no longer want to be an accomplice to genocide.” This was the statement of Aaron Bushnell, an American pilot, before he set himself on fire on February 25 before the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. in the US.

“I will carry out the most extreme act of protest, but compared to what the people in Palestine are suffering at the hands of the occupiers, it cannot be called extreme. This is what the rulers have set as normal.”

According to witnesses, his last words were “Free Palestine,” before he collapsed. He was taken to the hospital but died immediately.

Bushnell was an active member of the US Air Force at the time of his death. His self-immolation occurred two days after the US blocked, for the third time, a ceasefire proposal in Gaza on February 23.

In recognition of his protest, fellow Americans offered flowers and held a vigil against the genocide by the US and Israel. He was also honored by his organization Serve The People, a group that helps the homeless and hungry in the US.

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) recognized Bushnell’s heroism. “Bushnell gave his life to demand his country’s government to stop the criminal Zionist army from attacking (Gaza) and implementing massacres and other abuses.” Hamas also recalled the death of American activist Rachel Corrie who died after being run over by a Zionist Israeli bulldozer in Rafah in 2003.

In Gaza, the US and Israel had already killed 30,000 in their relentless bombing and attacks on civilians by the time Bushnell set himself on fire.

Self-immolation as a form of protest was also practiced in Vietnam against the US puppet government in the 1960s. In 2010, a 26-year-old set himself on fire in Tunisia, in protest of corruption and brutality. It served as a signal for mass protests in what Western media called the “Arab Spring.”

In Just last year, a unionist in South Korea set himself on fire in protest of the Korean state’s pressure on his union.



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