(RepublicanJournal.org) – What began as plans for a peaceful demonstration outside the US Capitol ended in hundreds of arrests after demonstrators stormed a nearby building. The pro-Palestine protesters had come to demand that Washington intervene in the conflict between Israel and Gaza, insisting the Jewish nation’s war crimes matched those of Hamas, the terrorist group that sparked the most recent open conflict.
The US Capitol Police posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, on October 18 stating protestors had entered the Cannon Rotunda. The notice added that protests were forbidden in all congressional buildings. Authorities warned the intruders that they would face arrest if they continued to demonstrate inside, and then they began making arrests when protesters refused to comply.
The demonstrators included two prominent groups, Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. They called specifically for a ceasefire in Gaza, which is currently under Hamas rule. Many wore matching black tee shirts with text that read, “Jews Say Ceasefire Now.”
Police arrested a total of 308 demonstrators on charges that included obstructing, crowding, and being disruptive on Capitol grounds. The offenders were removed via a US Secret Service Uniformed Division van, although most were reportedly ticketed and released. Three resisted arrest and were additionally charged with assault of a police officer. At least 100 other protestors remained on the scene until police managed to clear out the rotunda at around 5 p.m.
Protests against both sides of the conflict have arisen all across the country, particularly on college campuses, as a result of the brutal bloodshed that has devastated civilians across Israel and Gaza. A school board member for Columbia University said they’re seeing concerning levels of activity — including harassment — among Jewish, Muslim, and Palestinian students alike. Meanwhile, anti-Israel and anti-American protests continue to grow across the Middle East.
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