Global uprising: Protests erupt worldwide against economic support for Gaza conflict

The wave of protests swept major cities across the globe, with significant disruptions reported on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, downtown Los Angeles, and key transport routes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Image Credit: Ayaka McGill/AP

Pro-Palestine activists from around the world executed a day of direct action protests on Monday, aiming to “block the arteries of capitalism and jam the wheels of production” in response to what they describe as Israel’s ongoing genocidal assault on Palestinians in Gaza. The protesters, coordinated by the group A15Action, assert the need to move from symbolic actions to those inflicting economic pain, vowing to “disrupt and blockade economic logistical hubs and the flow of capital.”

The wave of protests swept major cities across the globe, with significant disruptions reported on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, downtown Los Angeles, and key transport routes in the San Francisco Bay Area. In California, thousands of protesters took over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and two vital East Bay highways—I-880 and I-980—creating a blockade that lasted from morning rush hour well into the afternoon. Demonstrators locked themselves and their vehicles together, complicating efforts by law enforcement to disperse them and clear the congested lanes. The California Highway Patrol reported that 15 people had been arrested by midday.

A15Action’s strategy centered on halting the movement of millions of dollars in daily capital flow, especially those routed through major economic veins such as the Port of Oakland, the Oakland Airport, and nearby rail yards. “In halting traffic along this route we seek to stop the movement of millions of dollars in daily capital flow, much of which directly and indirectly supports the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” the group stated on Facebook.

The economic blockade extended beyond the United States. In Middletown, Connecticut, demonstrations targeted Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of the military-industrial giant RTX (formerly Raytheon), which manufactures engines used in Israeli warplanes. Here, at least ten people were arrested after blockading a road leading to the facility. Protesters accused the company of being “complicit in the arming of the Israeli military” and demanded an end to exports to Israel, urging a transition to a peace-based economy.

The reach of these protests was not limited to the United States. Actions were reported in cities including Barcelona, Spain; Dublin, Ireland; Utrecht, Netherlands; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Adelaide, Australia, where the office of Foreign Minister Penny Wong was the stage for an occupation and “die-in.” Demonstrations also took place targeting the Australian ports of Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne, echoing the group’s message against global capital complicity in war crimes.

“On this Tax Day, when millions are paying taxes which fund the ongoing U.S. and Israeli bombardment of Gaza, protestors seek to take dramatic action, alongside other A15Action organizers worldwide,” stated the Chicago Dissenters on Instagram. In a significant demonstration of solidarity, activists occupied the office of arms giant Lockheed Martin in Arlington, Virginia, and Boeing’s facility in St. Charles, Missouri—known for producing missiles and bombs sent directly to Israel—saw pre-dawn protests that resulted in the arrest of seven activists.

The protests carried a strong message against the intersection of global capital and military operations. “Global capital is complicit in the war crimes occurring daily against Palestinians, and it also hurts us here at home,” the organizers elaborated. They linked local health issues such as increased cases of respiratory ailments and cancer in Oakland to the broader destructive impacts of global economic practices supporting warfare.

As these global actions disrupt business as usual, they bring to the forefront the role of economic systems in sustaining ongoing conflicts. The protests underscore a critical point: the international community’s role in perpetuating or resolving such crises through economic actions. The demonstrations across the globe not only signify a powerful solidarity with Palestine but also call into question the responsibilities of global actors in perpetuating conflicts through economic and military support.

The day of action concluded with a unified call for lasting peace and systemic change. As one organizer noted, “The genocide in Gaza is the horrible cost visited upon our comrades and brothers and sisters abroad. We are shutting down to disrupt the global flow of capital that causes so much destruction across the world. We are shutting down in support of a liberated Palestine.”

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