Pro-Palestinian cyclists disrupt Biden's day at the beach in Delaware

Pro-Palestinian cyclists disrupt Biden's day at the beach in Delaware
A group of several dozen pro-Palestinian cyclists disrupted Biden's weekend at the beach during his visit home to Delaware.
3 min read
Washington, DC
04 June, 2024
Pro-Palestinian protesters on bicycles disrupted Biden's weekend at the beach in Delaware. [Photo courtesy of DE Actions for Palestine]

In a rare display of disruption on the normally quiet coast of Delaware, activists on bicycles gathered to disrupt US President Joe Biden's time at the beach over the weekend.

The group of around 45 cyclists, organised by a locally based organisation DE actions 4 Palestine (Delaware Actions for Palestine), spent Saturday afternoon trying to get the attention of the president as he returned to his home state for a quiet weekend. As the activists put it, with the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, he wasn't going to get peace at the beach.

"How is it that a leader can go back to a peaceful environment when there's destruction for others?" Dounya Ramadan, one of the organisers, told The New Arab.

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The bike ride started at Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach, passing by Biden's beach house residence and St. Edmond's Catholic Church, which he regularly attends, and ended back at the park.

In addition to the cyclists, some demonstrators walked the route, stopping to pour fake blood near the president's motorcade. Because the demonstrators were told they couldn't use amplification, they raised their voices as loudly as possible.

The demonstrators said Biden briefly waved at them from his car. This is a sign of acknowledgement, but also a source of frustration for those who have been relentlessly demonstrating for months without substantial change in US policy in its support for Israel's war on Gaza.

Since October, the Biden administration has authorised more than US$15 billion in aid to Israel, despite polls showing that the majority of the American people oppose Israel's actions in Gaza. As the war, with US support, continues, Biden is increasingly losing support from the Arab community, with one of the latest polls showing him at below 20 percent with that demographic.

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During their disruption, participants wrote messages in chalk on the roads near the president's beach home and church about the situation in Gaza and US support for the Israeli military. 

Since Israel's war on Gaza began nearly eight months ago, following the 7 October surprise attack led by Hamas on Israeli military bases and civilian settlements within and around the Gaza envelope that killed around 1,190. Since then, the Israeli military has killed around 37,000 Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, mostly women and children. The besieged enclave has seen its medical and educational infrastructures decimated, while malnutrition has become commonplace. Multiple human rights groups and legal organisations have categorised Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide. 

"There were people from all different age groups, faiths, and walks of life who are passionate about what's happening," Zumana Noor, another organiser, told TNA. "The whole point is to not let him have peace."