On Wednesday afternoon, pro-Palestinian activists entered the Cannon House Office Building and occupied it, holding a sit-in on the floor and engaging in chants. They demanded that Congress call for a cease-fire in Gaza and refused to leave.
Many of those sitting wore shirts that read "not in our name" on the front, and "Jews say cease fire now" on the back. They held signs that read "Let Gaza Live," while another stated "ceasefire."
One of the affiliated groups calls themselves Jewish Voices for Peace, and describes itself as "Jews organizing toward Palestinian liberation and Judaism beyond Zionism."
Another affiliated group was If Not Now. Both are anti-Israel organizations, reports Axios.
A message sent by the House Sergeant at Arms stated that "Due to First Amendment activities on Capitol Grounds, all pedestrian entry points to the House Office Buildings are restricted to Member and Staff ONLY."
A Tuesday letter from the Sergeant at Arms to House members and staff stated that Wednesday would bring "increased security posture due to potential demonstration activity," stating that "we have implemented additional security measures to ensure continued operations throughout the Capitol Campus."
US Capitol Police wrote on X, "A group of protesters are demonstrating inside the Cannon Rotunda. Demonstrations are not allowed inside Congressional Buildings. We warned the protestors to stop demonstrating and when they did not comply we began arresting them." In total, around 300 people were arrested.
The group has also taken out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times which was printed in Tuesday, stating "Jews Say Ceasefire Now."
"Those of us grieving both Israeli and Palestinian loved ones this week know there is no military solution. The only future is peace and safety for all - grounded in freedom, justice, and equality," the page stated.
"Join us - American Jews and allies - in demanding the Biden administration facilitate an immediate ceasefire, and stop sending the Israeli military more weapons."
Rep Brandon Williams held an Israeli flag above the protestors in the Cannon building.
The group held an event outside the Capitol building, with Rep Rashida Tlaib crying as she spoke to the crowd, saying "You’re the right side of history. You are."
The group marched to the Capitol building, holding signs that read "decolonization is not a metaphor, end Israeli occupation, free Palestine."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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