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Demonstrators denounce Woodward, Israel after Rafah bombings

Collegian | Emma Askren
Members of the Fort Collins community march in a demonstration outside the headquarters of aerospace and industrial manufacturer Woodward June 1. Fragments of munitions provided to the Israeli army by Woodward were found at the site of the May 27 bombing of the Gazan city of Rafah.

Demonstrators again gathered near Woodward headquarters June 1 to continue advocating for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The demonstration, located in designated free-speech zones along East Lincoln Avenue, was organized in response to the Israeli military’s bombing of a tent encampment in Rafah. At least 45 people were killed.


Woodward, an industrial and aerospace manufacturer that has a contract of over $10.7 million with the United States Department of Defense, came under fire after munitions fragments labeled with the company’s serial number were found at the bombing site.

“The things that have come out about Woodward and their complicity in supplying materials for munitions really shows how deeply connected we are with what’s happening (in Gaza).” –Ali Owens, protest organizer

Largely organized by the Colorado State University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, demonstrators objected to the U.S. government’s supply of weapons to the Israeli military and continued to advocate for total divestment from corporations that support Israel.

“We want to remind everyone here in Fort Collins that Woodward is actively complicit in the genocide of Palestinians,” SJP organizer Ella Smith said. “We’re completely appalled, especially because Colorado has such direct ties to Woodward.”

As demonstrators moved from the corner of East Lincoln Avenue and Lemay Avenue toward Woodward’s northernmost gate, common chants of protest rang out, including, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified,” and, “Who did our taxes kill today?”

Passing vehicles consistently honked in support of the demonstrators; however, several passersby also denounced the demonstration, at one point characterizing protesters as “Hitler Youth.”

Protest organizer Ali Owens said the group’s primary goal is to raise awareness and empathy for the Palestinians as well as discourage the notion that Fort Collins is disconnected from the ongoing conflict.

“The things that have come out about Woodward and their complicity in supplying materials for munitions really shows how deeply connected we are with what’s happening (in Gaza),” Owens said. “If anything, I hope (the demonstration) at least helps raise awareness in the community so people can stand up and demand action.”

As done in previous demonstrations, protesters then participated in a die-in, in which people lay silently for over 10 minutes to symbolize the civilian death toll in Gaza. Several protesters also placed false body bags and red-stained dolls in view of passing vehicles. Woodward security personnel gathered behind the closed gates, and several Fort Collins Police Services vehicles were stationed farther away.

An anonymous protester echoed the group’s overall sentiment and expanded on their Jewish identity, refuting claims that protesting against Israel is antisemitic.


“There are Jews out here who believe in a free Palestine and understand that the atrocities against Palestinians have been ongoing for 75 years or more,” the protester said.

Demonstrators then turned their attention to the nearby Odell Brewing Company’s outdoor seating area, where a wedding reception was set to take place. Using a megaphone from across the street, organizers chanted directly to patrons, “While you’re sipping, blood is dripping.”

Numerous patrons who wished to remain anonymous claimed they agreed with the demonstrators’ sentiments, although they wished the protest was either moved or postponed to accommodate the reception.

Demonstrators said they will continue to protest until a permanent ceasefire agreement is reached.

Reach Sam Hutton at or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.

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About the Contributor
Emma Askren
Emma Askren, Sports Editor
Emma Askren, alongside Damon Cook, is the fall 2023 sports editor for The Collegian. She began working at The Collegian during her first year in the fall of 2022, when she covered the swim and dive team as well as anything sports-related. She is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is majoring in journalism and media communication and double minoring in Spanish and sports management. During her first year, she joined the rowing team, began working as a reporter for The Collegian and working at the Student Recreation Center. Askren applied to CSU as a journalism major, knowing she wanted to combine her passion for sports and writing to create a fulfilling career. Upon realizing that Rocky Mountain Student Media was hiring for first-years, she jumped at the opportunity to become a writer for The Collegian. While working for the sports desk, Askren has had the opportunity to write about hockey, logging, whitewater rafting and the importance of women in sports. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she seeks to break the status quo and become a successful sports journalist following graduation. Following a year as a sports reporter, Askren became a co-editor for the sports desk alongside Cook. Together the duo seeks to create a new and improved sports desk that caters to all readers of The Collegian and beyond.

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  • K

    Kate ForgachJun 7, 2024 at 8:32 am

    Thank you, thank you to The Collegian staff for continuing to keep us apprised of the local events in protest of Netanyahu’s genocide. Your work covering this and many other important local issues — coverage that we rarely see in The Coloradoan — makes me so proud of my journalistic Alma mater. Thanks!

  • T

    Tom WayJun 2, 2024 at 7:36 am

    This is a complete fabrication! There is absolutely zero factual basis for the attacks on the people who work at Woodward, Inc.