Many of us like to ask ourselves, “What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide? “The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now.” – These were the words of Aaron Bushnell, an active member of the United States Air Force, who at aged 25, succumbed to his injuries after he set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC yesterday in protest against the ongoing genocide by Israel in Gaza. Aaron’s last words were “Free Palestine.”
For too many people the horror of the attacks in Gaza is all too much and knowing that our governments are choosing not to vote to put an end to it all fills us will utter despair. To be an active member of the U.S. Air Force with the realisation that the government not only ignores the barbaric actions and the deaths of innocent civilians, but is aiding and abetting them, must be for some, like Aaron, so impossible to accept.
The last post of Aaron Bushnell, who succumbed to his injuries said “I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it is not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”
The 25-year-old US soldier, who was based in San Antonio, Texas, had been in the Air Force since 2020, working as a client systems technician in IT management and as a DevOps engineer. He was pursuing a Bachelors of Science in software engineering at Southern New Hampshire University. He was also looking for SkillBridge programs to transfer his skills into the software engineering career field.
Bushnell reportedly sent a message to media outlets stating, “Today, I am planning to engage in an extreme act of protest against the genocide of the Palestinian people.” He also reportedly live-streamed the act on Twitch, which has since removed the video for guideline violations.
After dousing himself with liquid and reaching for his lighter, unidentified law enforcement or security officers could be heard asking off-screen, “Can I help you?” After setting himself aflame, he repeatedly shouted “Free Palestine.”
Why Did He Do It?
Although Aaron’s tragic death has been reported in the mainstream newspapers, they have chosen to ignore the reason for his actions, and fail to even mention Gaza or Genocide.
Why did he do it?
Four major news outlets have almost the exact same headline for the self-immolation of 25-year old Aaron Bushnell. Not one of them mentions the words “Gaza” or “genocide,” the reason for Aaron’s protest, or the word “Palestine,” his last words spoken. pic.twitter.com/MdRCFsptzD
— Assal Rad (@AssalRad) February 26, 2024
Extreme Act of Protest
Aaron’s final words – “My name is Aaron Bushnell. I am an active duty member of the United States Air Force. And I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in extreme act of protest.”
“But compared to what the people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of the Colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided, would be ‘normal.’ Free Palestine! Free Palestine! Free Palestine! Free Palestine! Free Palestine!…”
WARNING: Video below may cause upset.
“I will no longer be complicit in genocide.”
— Aaron Bushnell, US Air Force
Aaron passed away after setting himself on fire outside of the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC protesting against the Gaza genocide committed by Israel and aided by the US Governmentpic.twitter.com/Gdn0eWpH3T
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 26, 2024
Rest in Peace Aaron Bushnell.
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Author: Edward Morgan
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