US military veterans burn uniforms during vigil for Aaron Bushnell

Portland, Oregon - Veterans burned their US military uniforms during a powerful protest on Wednesday in honor of Aaron Bushnell, the active Air Force member who self-immolated in protest at Israel's war on Gaza.

Veterans of the US armed forces toss their uniforms into the flames as they call for Palestinian freedom during a vigil in honor of Aaron Bushnell.
Veterans of the US armed forces toss their uniforms into the flames as they call for Palestinian freedom during a vigil in honor of Aaron Bushnell.  © Screenshot/X/@AlissaAzar

Footage shared to social media by journalist Alissa Azar shows the vets taking turns throwing their uniforms in a trashcan filled with flames.

Behind them, supporters hold up a banner reading: "Veterans say: Free Palestine! Remember Aaron Bushnell."

"Remember Aaron Bushnell. He's not alone," the crowd chanted.

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The action, organized by the group About Face: Veterans Against the War, took place in honor of 25-year-old Bushnell, an active Air Force member who died after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington DC on Sunday to protest US complicity in Israel's bombardment and invasion of Gaza.

"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's not extreme at all," the San Antonio, Texas, native said in a video explaining his action.

"This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal."

Aaron Bushnell inspires with his courage

The Portland protest was just one of many honoring Bushnell in recent days as US-backed Israel faces growing accusations of genocide in Gaza.

According to Azar, there were also "some extremely moving speeches, including a Vietnam War veteran who was a part of the [Students for a Democratic Society] and did a lot of anti-war organizing."

Israel's assault on Gaza has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians, as 2 million more forcibly displaced people face the dire threat of starvation and famine.

Cover photo: Screenshot/X/@AlissaAzar

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