by Daniel Hart
Around 250 protestors gathered outside the Boeing Military Delivery Center in Tukwila on Wednesday, Nov. 8, for an afternoon rally, part of a series of protests on the West Coast last week to demand an end to the U.S. supply of weapons to Israel.
Seattleite Daniel Felde, of organizing group Resist US-Led War, said the protest’s goal was to expose Boeing as the world’s third-largest weapons company.
“Folks are familiar with their commercial enterprise, especially here in Seattle, but we’re here at the Military Delivery Center today to share with our community the impacts of the military side of Boeing and how it contributes to the genocide of Palestinians,” he said.
“Boeing, Boeing, blood is flowing,” protestors chanted.
On Monday, Nov. 6, in Tacoma, protestors blocked entrances to the Port of Tacoma from 5 a.m. till around 5 p.m. The MV Cape Orlando, part of the U.S. Ready Reserve fleet and a ship they claimed was carrying weapons to Israel, was delayed but left the port that evening. Organizers posted on Instagram that since longshoremen could not enter the port, military personnel loaded the Cape Orlando themselves. The Emerald has been unable to independently confirm details about the loading.
Three days earlier, the MV Cape Orlando left Oakland, California, after protestors attempted to board the ship and delayed its departure for nine hours.
A series of speakers and artists represented a variety of local organizations during the Nov. 8 protest at Boeing Military Delivery Center, located along East Marginal Way South near The Museum of Flight.
Taking the microphone, Felde called on the University of Washington to cut ties with Boeing. He said the company’s student programs take advantage of “a fresh, exploitable workforce.”
Protestors painted “BOEING ARMS GENOCIDE” across the driveway to a parking lot and red handprints on a sign and a building. Organizers led the crowd in piling red flowers and kneeling for a moment of silence in honor of Palestinian dead.
Elyaa Hammad of Mountlake Terrace said she attended the protest because she is Palestinian. She said her parents were forced to leave their homes in Jerusalem in 1948. When she became an American citizen, she was able to visit the city but found her grandfather’s house and land had been taken by someone else.
“More people are supporting us because they see the evil and they see the right things. You cannot just kill kids and pretend it’s okay,” she said.
Hammad said she was recently fired from her job after vocally supporting Palestinians. After attending weekly demonstrations since the war began, she said recent protests against the weapons supply were especially important.
“This is the place where they’re producing these weapons to kill my people,” she said.
Port of Tacoma Protest
More than 500 protestors were on site at the Port on Monday, Nov. 6, an hour after the protest began. They blockaded two intersections with parked cars and marched in large circles for hours under persistent rain showers. Many carried signs with statements such as “No peace on stolen land” and repeated chants including, “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide; we charge you with genocide.” Groups that organized or attended the protest included the Arab Resource & Organizing Center, the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle, and more.
Tacoma Police could be seen inside the Port’s security fences, but they did not engage with protestors.
A longshoreman who took the microphone around noon in support of the protest confirmed later that the dock workers did not participate in loading the cargo. Longshoremen’s unions have participated in similar protests on the West Coast in recent years.
Yusef Mahmoud, a Seattleite whose father was born in the West Bank, attended both protests.
“We like to pretend that violence starts and begins with the Palestinians without recognizing the conditions that put people in these kinds of positions,” he said.
Attendee Rae Lee, also from Seattle, praised Palestinians for leading a global movement against settler colonialism.
Since Hamas militants entered Israel on Oct. 7, 1,400 Israelis have been killed. The Palestinian health ministry, run by Hamas, reports that over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s response.
Seattle-based journalist Daniel Hart investigates low-visibility, high-stakes stories about immigration, politics, and religion. Working with refugees in a variety of contexts has led him to dig into the geopolitics of displacement and experiences of resettlement. You can follow his work on his website.
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