Tucson, AZ — A crowd of more than 125 people staged a die-in protest blocking the main entrance to a Raytheon office in Tucson Thursday morning to condemn the genocide against Palestinians. Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the largest private employer in Tucson, is a major supplier of missiles, bombs, and weapons systems to Israel through both direct contracts and via the U.S. Department of Defense. The protestors blocked the flow of traffic into the Raytheon office for an hour and a half, sending a message that business as usual cannot continue while bombs are dropping on Gaza. After the die-in, protestors continued to block the road, chanting, “Raytheon, Raytheon, you can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!” The die-in honored the lives lost in Palestine and symbolically brought the death for which Raytheon is responsible back to its doorstep.
HAPPENING NOW: “die-in” by a Tucson pro-palestinian group. It’s outside a Raytheon plant on Hermans road and Nogales highway. pic.twitter.com/iQz5tFWyOC— Adam Klepp (@AdamKleppAZ) November 2, 2023
Organized by the Tucson Coalition for Palestine and co-sponsored by Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Derechos Humanos, this action came on the anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which established the British government’s support for the dispossession of Palestine as the “national home for the Jewish people.” The action also came amidst Israel’s ground invasion and continued bombardment of Gaza, including two airstrikes on the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the past two days.
The Palestinian death toll now surpasses 9,000, and the genocide continues with aid and a green light from the US government. These killings serve not only to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, but also to fill the coffers of weapon manufacturers. A recent Newsweek article reports that shares for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon have all increased since October 7.” As Tucson residents, we stand with Palestine and against the war profiteers in our community,” a protestor said.
More than 125 people staged a die-in blocking the main entrance to Raytheon in Tucson this morning to condemn the genocide against Palestinians. #Gaza_Genocide #Gaza #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/A42etZlvt7— Tucson Coalition for Palestine (@TucsonPalestine) November 2, 2023
Despite governmental support for Israel, protests across the US and around the world are growing. This die-in comes as part of a wave of people taking action against the weapon manufacturers whose missiles are killing people in Gaza. In the past week, protestors in the UK and Boston shut down Elbit offices. Today, in Niles, Illinois youth organizers blocked the entrance to Woodward, Inc.. In Tucson, residents are connecting the Raytheon-manufactured surveillance equipment which hunts asylum seekers in the American Southwest to the bombs the company supplies to Israel. “We want a thriving, life-giving economy, not one that contributes to genocide and the militarization of our borders,” the Tucson Coalition for Justice in Palestine said. “We want to encourage Tucson residents and people around the world to join with us and take a moral stand against companies like Raytheon who profit off of murder.