The Life & Death of Aaron Bushnell: U.S. Airman Self-Immolates Protesting U.S. Support for Israel in Gaza

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In an act that has captured the attention of the world, Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force, set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington Sunday to protest Israel’s assault on Gaza and U.S. support for the military campaign. Bushnell, who live-streamed the action, said, “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” before lighting himself on fire and repeatedly shouted “Free Palestine” as he was engulfed in the flames. He was pronounced dead in the hospital later that day. Democracy Now! speaks with Bushnell’s friend and conscientious objector Levi Pierpont, who says his friend’s death was not a suicide but was about using his life to send a message for justice. “We have to honor the message that he left,” says Pierpont, who says Bushnell died “to get people’s attention about the genocide that’s happening in Palestine.” Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army colonel and former diplomat, lays out the history of self-immolation to protest war and how Bushnell’s act could impact U.S. policy for the war on Gaza. “It was an act of courage, an act of bravery, to call attention to U.S. policies,” says Wright, who offers support to Pierpont and other veterans advocating for peace live on air.

Full article on the Democracy Now website at

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