U.S. Capitol Police arrested dozens of people who were demonstrating inside the Capitol on Tuesday to demand a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war and an end to U.S. aid to Israel.
The group first took a tour of the U.S. Capitol, which includes access to the Capitol Rotunda. After they began protesting in the rotunda, about 60 people were arrested under a D.C. law that prohibits crowding, obstructing or incommoding, which is often cited in the arrest of protesters during peaceful planned acts of civil disobedience, said Capitol Police spokesman Tim Barber.
“We were aware of a group’s potential plan to take a tour of the U.S. Capitol Building and then start a protest,” Barber said in a statement. “It is against the law to demonstrate inside the Congressional Buildings, so we brought in additional officers to be prepared for the moment the group would break the law.”
The protesters included more than 80 leaders of organizations united behind demands for a cease-fire in the war, as well as an end to all U.S. funding to Israel, organizers said. President Biden’s request for additional funds for Ukraine and Israel, as well as humanitarian aid for Gaza and money for U.S.-Mexico border security, has stalled in Congress.
“Since October 7, my days begin and end with tears and heartbreak for the defenseless, innocent people in Gaza — men, women, and children living in constant fear, aware that any moment could be their last,” Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ San Francisco Bay Area office, said in a statement. “The only humane solution to avert a deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, now exacerbated by the spread of infectious diseases, is to implement a ceasefire NOW.”
Source: The Washington Post