Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information
Montréal Contre-information
Feb 282024

Anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info

This morning, the Washington Post published an article about US Air Force serviceman, Aaron Bushnell, who set himself on fire outside of the Israeli consulate in Washington, D.C. this week. The first sentence of the article reads:

Less than two weeks before Aaron Bushnell walked toward the gates of the Israeli Embassy on Sunday, he and a friend talked by phone about their shared identities as anarchists and what kinds of risks and sacrifices were needed to be effective.

It seems, Bushnell, was a comrade.

It says he grew up in a religious cult and, when he got out, he felt called towards defending those more vulnerable than himself. He was radicalized during the George Floyd protests and started reading and made a commitment to opposed state-sanctioned violence of any kind. He had recently moved to Ohio to take a course for servicemembers who were transitioning out of duty as he had decided he would not return to the Air Force after his term was over early this year. He had started doing solidarity work with unhoused people and wanted to find a way to work part-time and organize.

Said of him by his comrades:

He is one of the most principled comrades I’ve ever known,” said Xylem, who worked with Bushnell to support San Antonio’s unhoused residents. “He’s always trying to think about how we can actually achieve liberation for all with a smile on his face,” said Errico.

On Sunday, 25 year old Bushnell sent a copy of his will to a friend and put on his uniform. He walked down to the Israeli consulate, doused himself in gasoline, and live streamed his own self-immolation.

His last words were as follows:

My name is Aaron Bushnell. I’m an active duty member of the United States Air Force. And I will no longer be complicit in genocide.

I’m 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. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.

As the flames consumed his body, he managed to scream FREE PALESTINE over and over until he collapsed.

Bushnell was an anarchist and he deserves an anarchist send off.
Organize in your communities to honour his memory.

And maybe finish it off with some karaoke, which he apparently loved…

… Some of Bushnell’s friends, including Barboza, said they last saw him in January at his going-away party in San Antonio. It was at a karaoke bar. He belted out song after song, many of which were from “Les Misérables,” which he was known to love. And one was Mandy Moore’s “Wind in My Hair” from the TV series based on the movie “Tangled.”