- About a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested during a House hearing on antisemitism on campuses.
- The protesters were interrupting witness remarks during the hearing.
- Some of the protesters were charged with illegally protesting and assaulting a police officer.
About a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested by Capitol officers from a House hearing on free speech and the rise of antisemitism on campuses of American colleges and universities after interrupting witness remarks on Wednesday morning.
The protest organizers said seven students were arrested and were taken to the Capitol Police Headquarters. Students attended the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Free Speech and Antisemitism on College Campuses, organized by local Justice in Palestine, or SJP, chapters, Dissenters, and the DC Young Communist League.
The Public Information Office for the Capitol Police confirmed to the Washington Examiner that approximately 10 people were charged with illegally protesting inside a Congressional Office Building, and one of the demonstrators was also charged with assaulting a police officer.
“The inaction by our universities is contributing to the dehumanization of Palestinians and creating an hostile campus climate that actively harms students,” said Hafiza Khalique of New York University and a member of Dissenters in a press release.
“The rights and safety of Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim, and other students of color must be protected,” Sydney Thornton of Howard University said.
Moments after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) swore in Connor Ogrydziak, a recent graduate of the University of Buffalo and former chairman of the university’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom as a witness, a protester stood up holding a sign reading “Pro-Palestine [doesn’t equal] antisemitism.”
“We will remove every single person who disrupts the committee,” Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said.
Ogrydziak attempted to make opening statements multiple times but was interpreted by more demonstrators who were led out of the room in the Rayburn House Office Building.
“Palestinians deserve to speak on the genocide of their families,” a third demonstrator shouted before a Capitol officer removed the woman, telling her, “Sit down or you’ll be arrested.”
Protesters called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Hamas terrorists have killed more than 1,400 Israeli citizens and taken more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli officials. The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry said that more than 10,000 have been killed in Gaza by strikes by Israeli forces as of this week.
Other protesters denounced lawmakers for censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), the only Palestinian American member of Congress.
The House voted late Tuesday night to censure Tlaib over her comments about Israel and Palestinians since the terror attack by Hamas on Oct. 7. The censure measure, written by Rep. Rich McCormick (R-GA), passed in a 234-188 vote — with 22 Democrats in support and four Republicans voting against it.
Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted a House hearing on antisemitism on campuses, leading to their arrest.
These individuals, who were charged with illegally protesting and assaulting a police officer, chose to interrupt witness remarks during the hearing.
It is vital to uphold free speech and allow for open discussions on college campuses, but disrupting a hearing undermines the democratic process.
Furthermore, their demands for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip fail to acknowledge the Hamas terrorists’ responsibility for the ongoing conflict.
It is crucial to address antisemitism and protect the rights of all students, but it should not come at the expense of productive dialogue and respect for the rule of law.
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