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Pro-Palestine protesters blockade US’ largest air transport base

A C-5M Super Galaxy takes off from Travis Air Force Base, California, 15 March 2022. As the Air Force’s largest strategic airlifter, the C-5M can carry more cargo farther distances than any other aircraft. US Air Force/Heide Couch

Pro-Palestine demonstrators have mobilised to protest at the Travis Air Force Base, the largest transport base in the United States of America.

Pro-Palestine demonstrators have mobilised to protest at the Travis Air Force Base, the largest transport base in the United States of America.

Organisers gathered for nonviolent resistance at the base’s north, south, and main gates in Fairfield, California, on 7 February to demand an immediate cessation of military aid to Israel, an end to bombing of Gaza by the country, and termination of military supply and weapons transport to Israel from Travis Air Force Base.

Travis Air Force Base, housing the 60th Air Mobility Wing, 621st Contingency Response Wing, the 349th Air Mobility Wing, accommodates more than 26,000 active duty, reservists, and civilian employees.

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The site also handles more cargo and passengers than any other military air terminal in the United States.

Pro-Palestine advocacy groups involved in the protest include CODEPINK, Youth4Palestine, Occupy Beale, AFB, Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County, Solano Unity Network, ShutDownDroneWarfare, BanKillerDrones, United Front Committee for a Labor Party, and Extinction Rebellion Peace.

Rally organiser Toby Blomé said the base facilitates transportation of weapons and military supplies to Israel, and thus contributes to deaths in Gaza.

“The US government and Travis Air Force Base are complicit in the brutal slaughter of innocent civilians in Gaza,” he said.

“We cannot stand idly by while our tax dollars fund such atrocities.

“We will continue to return until the bombing ends and humanitarian aid is provided. The world must witness our outcry; stop the genocide, free Palestine now.”

Protesters had previously attended a demonstration at Travis AFB on 28 December last year, reportedly resulting in 14 arrests.

Late last month, Brisbane-headquartered defence parts supplier Ferra Holdings was picketed by around 100 protesters in show of pro-Palestine support.

Protesters from action groups Shut Down Ferra, Justice for Palestine, and Wage Peace – Disrupt War attended the Tingalpa warehouse on 24 January to rally against collaboration with international defence companies involved with the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

Pro-Palestine protesters had previously stormed Ferra Holdings’ Brisbane office with “Stop arming Israel” and “Ferra spreads terror” banners on 8 January and occupied the floor of the Ferra Engineering factory.

Previously, the group attended a pro-Palestine rally at Thales Australia’s Bendigo facility in December to protest Bushmaster vehicles being sold to Indonesia.

They are also reportedly involved in the current pro-Palestine blockade of the Israeli container ship ZIM Ganges being loaded at the Webb Dock of Victoria International Terminal in Melbourne.

Five activists were also reportedly arrested late last year at Defence Minister Richard Marles’ electorate office in Melbourne after protesting the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

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