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Protesters Arrested at Capitol Hill During Gaza Ceasefire Demonstration

by Mohammed Ahmed

U.S. Capitol Police arrested about 50 people on Monday who were demonstrating inside the Hart Senate Office Building, demanding a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war. The protest began around 10 a.m., with participants arrested for illegally protesting inside the building, according to Tim Barber, a Capitol Police spokesman. Forty-nine of the demonstrators were charged under a D.C. code that prohibits crowding, obstructing, or incommoding, often used in arrests during peaceful civil disobedience actions.

Among those arrested, one man climbed a statue in the atrium and was charged with resisting arrest. Similarly, a woman faced charges of resisting arrest, Barber reported.

The demonstrators hung a banner reading “The People Choose Life” from Alexander Calder’s “Mountains and Clouds” sculpture in the Hart building. Another banner criticized sending additional aid to Israel, equating it with bombing Palestinians. Videos of the protest showed participants wearing shirts with slogans like “Stop Weapons Now” and “Invest in Life,” while chanting “Cease-fire now!” Police used zip-tie handcuffs to escort the protesters out, with some demonstrators needing to be carried.

The protest was organized by several advocacy groups, including the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, and About Face: Veterans Against the War. Sandra Tamari, executive director of the Adalah Justice Project, stated in a news release, “Funding more death and destruction of human life is immoral and wrong. It makes no one secure, and instead fuels hatred and continued war.”

Additionally, on Monday afternoon, 18 Jewish elders chained themselves to the White House fence as part of the protest, according to Jewish Voice for Peace. These individuals received citations and were released at the scene, according to U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Twiname.

The demonstration reflects growing calls for a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, highlighting the moral and ethical concerns of continued military funding and its impact on civilian lives.

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