Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested After Trying To ‘Shut Down The White House’

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  • Multiple protesters were arrested at a pro-Palestinian protest in Washington, D.C. on Monday after attempting to break through the White House gates, the Daily Caller News Foundation observed.
  • The protesters were calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
  • “We have shut down the White House at every door,” one protester said, the DCNF observed.

Several pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested during a protest near the White House, the Daily Caller News Foundation observed.

Protesters from organizations representing Palestinian causes gathered near The White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday and demanded a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, with some calling the country an “apartheid” and “genocidal” state, the DCNF observed on the scene. Nearly three dozen protesters attempted to break through the gates of the White House and were subsequently arrested by the U.S. Secret Service. (RELATED: ‘They Want Our People Dead’: Jewish Student Bursts Into Tears As Pro-Hamas Demonstration Takes Place On Campus)

“This afternoon, more than 30 individuals were arrested by the U.S. Secret Service’s Uniformed Division for Unlawful Entry or Incommoding after crossing safety barriers or blocking entrances during a demonstration at the White House complex,” Secret Service Special Agent Steve Kopek told the DCNF. “There was no impact to White House security operations. The individuals have been transported to the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2nd District for processing.”

“We have shut down the White House at every door,” one protester said over a loudspeaker, the DCNF observed. While the protesters jumped over barricades and ran towards a gate that enters onto the West Wing’s driveway, they did not actually enter the complex.

One of the arrested protesters encouraged others to rush the gates of public buildings and referred to Israel as a “fascist” state, while another said that it was “brave” for protesters to rush the gates, according to their comments shouted at the DCNF while in custody.

“We needed to be here to block the sale of the biggest package of weapons to Israel and to raise awareness,” a protester told the DCNF while he was seated in handcuffs.

“Stop the genocide of Palestinians now,” a woman arrested by the Secret Service said.

If Not Now, a collective of American Jews determined to end “Israel’s apartheid system” and support the creation of an independent Palestinian state, organized the protest. Protesters sang Hebrew folk songs and passages from the Torah while gathered, which they claimed were invocations of peace and freedom.

“They’re doing something extraordinarily brave … it’s our duty to protest with our bodies if necessary,”  Horlev Stumow, an American protester who was visiting from Ecuador and whose mother and brother were arrested by the Secret Service, told the DCNF. “I voted for President Joe Biden and I’m disappointed with his decision to support Israel’s actions.”

Stumow said that he would “absolutely not” vote for Biden again.

“The Israeli government is equally, if not more culpable for these deaths,” Stumow said of Hamas’ terrorist attack that began on Oct. 7.

“We should put all of our pressure on Israel to stop a ground invasion,” another protester said. “We should hold [U.S.] aid to Israel hostage to prevent the genocide of Gazan people and Palestinians.”

Arrested protesters were put in the back of a U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division van and escorted away from the scene, the DCNF observed. However, over 100 other protesters, who were not arrested, remained behind to continue their chants, the most common being “Ceasefire now!” and “Not in our name,” referring to Israel’s claim that its operations against Hamas were to defend its citizens.

“I’m a Jew and I’m proud to be part of [this group] of people,” Lawrence MacDonald, a protester from nearby Alexandria in Virginia, said. “I believe that Israel has the right to exist and it’s the homeland of my people, but it’s difficult to untangle it from the violence and oppression perpetrated by the Israeli government.”

Signs held up by the protesters included statements that read “Palestine Lives Matter,” “Jews For Palestine,” “Jews Say Stop Genocide in Gaza” and “End the Massacre in Gaza Now. 2 Wrongs don’t make a right.” Some signs identified the holders as an “Anti-Zionist Jew” and the descendant of a Holocaust survivor “who despised the Israeli occupation.”

Protesters came from outside the Washington, D.C. area to participate in the demonstration. One lady, who identified herself as “Mary” to the DCNF, said that she came from New York City to “be on the side of those calling for de-escalation,” sporting a keffiyeh scarf that has been worn by protesters supporting Hamas.

“I will be in every community to call for a ceasefire,” she said.

“I think it’s clear right now that [war crimes] are being perpetrated by Israel with American weapons. The U.S. Government is complicit in the violence and is also uniquely positioned to stop them,” Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, a representative of Democracy For Arab World Now (DAWN), told the DCNF.

DAWN, one of the organizations endorsing the protest, has declared that Israel’s counteroffensive in Gaza is tantamount to war crimes.

“The United States is acting as a diplomatic backstop to let Israel … kill hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza,” Omer-Man said.

The Israeli Mission to the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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