Protests on Capitol Hill Demand Gaza Ceasefire

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters converged on Capitol Hill and occupied a portion of a House office building, urging lawmakers and the Biden administration to advocate for a cease-fire in Gaza, which has been under Israeli airstrikes following a lethal Hamas terror assault.

The activists, donning black T-shirts bearing the phrases “Jews say cease fire now” and “Not in our name,” sat on the floor in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building, clapping and singing, while holding up large banners that read “Ceasefire” and “Let Gaza Live.”

The U.S. Capitol Police stated, “We warned the protestors to stop demonstrating and when they did not comply we began arresting them,” on X, previously known as Twitter.

Hundreds Rally at Capitol Hill Seeking Gaza Ceasefire
Demonstrators affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace are apprehended following a sit-in protest against the Israeli military actions in Gaza, held within the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2023.

According to the police, protests are not permitted within the building. They informed CBS News that the protesters had entered the building legally and properly through visitor security checkpoints, and were allowed to gather and congregate.

However, they failed to heed police warnings post the commencement of their demonstrations.

An initial estimate by the police suggested that about 300 demonstrators were arrested, but they mentioned that the count might rise as they continue processing the arrests.

The protest was orchestrated by the Jewish Voice for Peace group, a Jewish anti-Zionist organization.

Prior to the sit-in, hundreds had assembled on the National Mall near the Capitol, urging the Biden administration to call for a cease-fire.

Hannah Lawrence, 32, from Vermont, voiced, Biden really is the only one that has the power to pressure Israel right now, and he needs to use that power to save innocent lives.”

Linda Holtzman, a 71-year-old rabbi from Philadelphia, demanded an immediate cease-fire and urged Biden to “open your eyes.”

Look at what’s happening in Gaza. Look at the devastation in Gaza,” Holtzman articulated. “If you want to be able to live with yourself, you need to stand up and end the genocide. I demand a cease-fire right now.”

With information from CBS News

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