Protesters occupy congressional building to demand ceasefire in Israel-Gaza war

Washington DC - At least a hundred protesters occupied a US House building on Wednesday urging lawmakers and Joe Biden's administration to push for a ceasefire in Gaza, which has been under Israeli airstrikes since a deadly Hamas attack.

Hundreds of protesters occupied the Cannon House Office building to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.
Hundreds of protesters occupied the Cannon House Office building to demand a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.  © REUTERS

Dressed in black T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Jews say cease fire now" and "Not in our name," the activists sat clapping and singing on the floor in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office building and held up large banners that read "Ceasefire" and "Let Gaza Live".

Capitol police said protests are not allowed inside the building and several demonstrators were arrested.

"We warned the protestors to stop demonstrating and when they did not comply we began arresting them," the US Capitol police said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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

Demands for an immediate ceasefire

Before the sit-in, hundreds of people had gathered on the National Mall near the Capitol urging the Biden administration to call for a ceasefire.

"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," said Hannah Lawrence, who came from Vermont.

Linda Holtzman, a rabbi from Philadelphia, demanded an immediate ceasefire and urged Biden to "open your eyes."

"Look at what's happening in Gaza. Look at the devastation in Gaza," said Holtzman. "If you want to be able to live with yourself, you need to stand up and end the genocide. I demand a ceasefire right now."

Cover photo: REUTERS

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