AFSC joins civil disobedience outside State of the Union demanding permanent cease-fire and end to military funding for Israel

Layne Mullett
Director of Media Relations


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March 7, 2024 (Washington, DC) — Tonight, hundreds of people blocked the route of President Biden’s motorcade as he traveled to the Capitol for his State of the Union address. Protestors, donning shirts that read “Biden’s Legacy = Genocide,” demanded an end to Biden’s funding of Israel’s unrelenting assault on Palestinians in Gaza. Among those participating were several staff and governance members of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – a Quaker organization with staff in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as many other locations around the world. The act of mass civil disobedience concluded a day-long series of protests across Washington, DC centering Palestinian rights, progressive climate justice, labor rights, and immigrant justice.

“We are taking this action because stopping a genocide requires radical nonviolent and relentless action,” said Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary for AFSC, who participated in the action. “The Biden administration has the power, and the responsibility, to stop the killing. It is a cruel irony to drop food when at the same time the U.S. is funding the dropping of bombs. We need a permanent cease-fire and full humanitarian access. But that is not all we need. As a Palestinian and a Quaker, I know that a just and lasting peace will only come when we address the apartheid state imposed on Palestinians for decades.”

For months, people around the world have taken to the streets with mass protests demanding a cease-fire and an end to the illegal occupation of Israel in Palestine. Millions of people in the U.S. have demanded an immediate and permanent cease-fire, an end to U.S. military funding to Israel, and investment in life-affirming community needs like housing, health care, education, and climate care.

“I participated in this act of civil disobedience because Joe Biden and the rest of our so-called representatives need to know that they cannot continue to commit genocide against my people without our struggle being known,” said Noor Nabulsi, who serves as a communications specialist with AFSC’s Apartheid-Free campaign. “I will continue to do everything in my power to stop my tax dollars from going towards another Nakba, the first of which exiled my grandparents from Palestine. We are here holding a people’s state of the union and showing Biden that we demand an end to U.S. military funding for Israel.”

Protestors also demanded that Biden reinstate funding to UNRWA, following his cruel decision to cut off funding to the UN agency that provides critical humanitarian aid to Palestinians in southern Gaza.

“The Biden administration has provided the money and the weapons for the slaughter of more than 30,000 Palestinians since October 7,” said Serena Taj, attorney with AFSC’s Immigrant Rights Program. “An action like this is and will continue to be the bare minimum, until Palestine is free.”

AFSC staff, governance, and volunteers in the Middle East, the U.S., and around the world have also been advocating and protesting to call for a permanent cease-fire and an end to occupation and apartheid. Despite losing many family members and being displaced themselves, AFSC staff in Gaza are tirelessly working to provide life-saving humanitarian relief with limited supplies and restrictions imposed by Israel. They have been serving hot meals from an open-air kitchen to displaced people living outside of shelters and are providing families with water, food parcels, and fresh vegetables. They have also distributed hygiene kits and other critical supplies to women and seniors and hosted activities for children.

Learn more about AFSC’s work in Gaza here:


The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions.