Chanting, waving signs and Palestinian flags, about 30 people protested U.S. military support for Israel at the Lockheed Martin plant in King of Prussia late Friday afternoon.

Numerous Upper Merion police officers guarded the gates of the defense contractor. Pro-Palestinian groups have been protesting at defense contractors since the war began after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. The U.S. division of the Israeli company Elbit Systems has been a frequent target, including vandalism and property damage.

One protester, Asher Garza of Ambler, leader of the group “Montco for Liberation,” said its members agree with Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), who announced she supports a bilateral ceasefire after a recent trip to Israel.

“The vast majority of Americans, on a bipartisan basis, are demanding a ceasefire,” said Garza. “And part of that is reflected in our Congresswoman Madeleine Dean’s call for a ceasefire to be initiated, which we have been lobbying for.”

Carmen Guerrero

Dean’s position is at odds with the views of her fellow Pennsylvania Democrat, U.S. Sen. John Fetterman.

“At any point, Hamas could have ended this burgeoning tragedy to surrender and release every hostage,” Fetterman posted on social media Sunday.

“Now, they’re unwilling to provide a list of any surviving hostages. Hamas is anathema to peace in Gaza. Hamas instigated and owns this humanitarian catastrophe.”

Garza also mentioned a voting campaign in Michigan where 100,000 Democratic primary voters, including members of the state’s Arab-American community, voted “uncommitted” instead of for  President Joe Biden.

“It was clearly a referendum on Biden’s policies and lack of meaningful action to stop the slaughter,” said Garza.

However, a new Harvard Harris poll reported 82 percent of Americans support Israel in its war against Hamas.

Also on Friday, Biden said a ceasefire may be possible by the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10.

Philadelphia resident Timour Kamran said he attended the protest as part of a vigil for U.S. Airman Aaron Bushnell, who lit himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on February 25. Several other people told DVJournal they came to the protest because of Bushnell.

Kamran wanted to “honor (Bushnell’s) sacrifice for the cause of freeing Palestine.”

“We’re outside the Lockheed Martin campus because we believe the oppression of Palestine is part of a global system of empire. Companies like Lockheed Martin profit at the expense of people’s lives.”

The company provided this statement: “Lockheed Martin’s core values are to do what’s right, respect others, and perform with excellence. These values provide clear, unambiguous, and uncompromising standards for how we treat each other with understanding and compassion. We respect the right to peaceful protest and we are honored to partner with the U.S. military and our international partners to deliver strategic deterrence and security solutions.”

David, who declined to give his last name because of ongoing death threats from pro-Palestine protesters, came from Lancaster to counter-protest.

“It really comes down to the defeat of Hamas,” said David, who held a large Israeli flag on a tall pole. “I don’t hear anyone calling for the release of hostages. I just hear ‘ceasefire’ and a lot of antisemitism.”

Chants included, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which David said is antisemitic and means, “They want Israel and the Jewish people wiped off the map.”


“It’s tragic what’s happening,” he said. “There are innocent civilians being killed every day. I think the numbers are inflated. We’re relying on UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees) and Hamas agencies to report those supposed facts. I’m going to trust Israel.”

“I hope Hamas will stop using innocent civilians as human shields,” David added.

Using a megaphone, Garza called on Lockheed Martin employees to resign.

“Break free of your comfortable bondage,” Garza said. “It’s not a hefty price to pay. I call all of good conscience to walk out. Seek just and righteous employment.” Mentioning F-16 fighter jets, he exhorted Lockheed employees, who were not likely to hear his entreaties, to not “create the machines of death.”

Then he led the chant, “Not another nickel, not another dime. No more money for Lockheed crimes.”

“Free, free, free Palestine,” the crowd chanted. And “resistance is justified if the people are occupied.”

King of Prussia resident Christina Nassir also came for the Bushnell vigil.

She said she is half-Iraqi and half-Irish. She attends a Lebanese Christian church and is concerned that Israel may bomb Lebanon next.

Carmen Guerrero, also of King of Prussia, put together a shrine for Bushnell on a blanket surrounded by flowers and candles. She said she was a member of the Mayan tribe and a native American who supports the Palestinians.

A woman who came to the protest with her toddler in a stroller, said she felt compelled to leave her King of Prussia home to support the Palestinians.

“No more money for Israel’s war,” she chanted with the others.

Members of other left-wing and pro-Palestinian groups, including Philly Palestine Coalition, Lancaster Palestine Coalition, the Philadelphia Chapter of American Muslims for Palestine, CAIR Philadelphia, BuxMont DSA, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, NEPA for Palestine, and the Abandon Biden Campaign also participated.

The protest was one of several those groups have held in the Delaware Valley since the war began. There’s also been an upsurge of antisemitism at schools and universities.

Garza said a ceasefire is the only way the Israeli hostages will be released. Although, the Israeli Defense Forces have rescued some in raids on Hamas’ terror tunnels.

“Ceasefire is the only reasonable way to preserve life on both sides, if you will,” Garza said.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or