An 8:30am protest brought 30-40 activists from Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), supporters of Palestine, and concerned community members to Boeing’s Defense, Space, and Security building at 92nd Ave. and Airport Way in Tukwila, Washington.
As protestors blocked the entrance by lying down in the crosswalk with arms linked through thick, tape wrapped, cardboard tubes, Boeing security quickly blocked the streets and contacted Tukwila Police. Several police vehicles arrived and began directing traffic away from the blockade.
For 3 hours demonstrators chanted pro Palestine chants and read the names of the civilians who were killed in Palestine during the past 3 weeks. At the end of the third hour, with the sun beating down on the protestors, they decided to call it a day and marched away down the sidewalk. There were no arrests or injuries.
From the Jewish Voice for Peace press release…
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2014
Seattle Activists from Jewish Voice for Peace and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid Succeed in Blocking Entrance of Boeing Office, Protesting the Israeli assault on Gaza
Nine demonstrators blockaded the main entrance of the Tukwila Boeing facility shortly after 8:30 AM this morning. More than forty protesters gathered with them, holding signs, reading the names of the dead, and lying across the sidewalk in a symbolic“die-in” to represent the more than 1,000 Palestinians Israel has killed in the last 21 days.
Eliana Horn, demonstrator who risked arrest today said: “As a Jew, I am outraged that Israel’s one-sided war of destruction is being done in my name. Just this morning, Israel killed 7 children as they played on a refugee camp playground. Boeing is directly profiting from such unconscionable violence. As a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I am proud that I risked arrest to slow down Boeing’s ability to arm the Israeli war machine, even if just for today.”
Samira Shifteh, a member of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, a co-sponsor of today’s action, saw mixed reactions from the Boeing employees who could not enter the facility. While some offered praise, others were openly hostile. She said: “There is great irony that Boeing employees might complain about a three hour blockade while the company profits from Israel’s ongoing siege on Gaza that holds 1.8 million Palestinians captive, offering absolutely no place to run, hide, or flee while bombs are falling.”
Eitan Isaacson, an Israeli member of JVP spoke to the simple economics behind their protest: “This terrible bloodshed will never end while Boeing and other war profiteers make enormous profit from Israel’s current and ongoing assault on Palestinians. We locked down in the street today to demonstrate that people like you and I have the power to literally change that equation.”
The protest today ended when the whole group coalesced around the activists blocking the intersection. Together, the group started chanting “Shut Down Israel’s War Machine, War Profiteering is Obscene” as they marched away from the site.
Wendy Somerson, an organizer of today’s demonstration and member of Jewish Voice for Peace said: “At the very same time that we were blocking the entrance to Boeing, young Jews in New York were also engaging in civil disobedience at the headquarters of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. All together we are raising a powerful demand to end support and corporate complicity for Israel’s decades old assault on Palestinian human rights.”
Video documentation available at 5pmPST. Contact Stefanie@jvp.org if you’d like a copy sent to you.
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Today’s action was sponsored by the Seattle and Tacoma chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and Queers Against Israeli Apartheid – Seattle.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving a just and lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 180,000 online supporters, 40 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid – Seattle is a multi-racial group of queer and trans* folks working to cultivate solidarity for Palestinian liberation among LGBTQ communities and communities who stand against homophobia and transphobia. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid supports the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions as a strategy for ending the racism, apartheid, and colonial violence of the occupation of Palestine.”