J6-Style Pro-Palestine Protest Surrounds White House. Anyone Arrested?

Written by Samuel Anderson.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists gathered around the White House on Saturday, calling for an end to the war in Gaza. The demonstration, marked by smoke bombs and intense rhetoric, saw protesters demanding that President Joe Biden be arrested for war crimes related to U.S. involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Julio Rosas, National Correspondent, documented the event and shared videos on social media. Protesters chanted slogans such as, “Hey Joe Biden, you’re a sellout! Pack your bags and get the hell out! Biden, you’re a liar! We demand a ceasefire! How many kids have you killed today!”

Rosas reported that the crowd formed a mob, chasing U.S. Park Police and Secret Service agents out of Lafayette Square after an attempted arrest. Law enforcement retreated to the perimeter of the protest, unable to maintain control within the park.

Tensions and Vandalism

The demonstration also saw instances of vandalism, with video footage showing protesters defacing the statue of General Comte de Rochambeau in Lafayette Park. Smoke bombs were set off outside the White House, further escalating the situation.

One protester held a sign reading, “We got the guillotine, you better run!” The event, dubbed “Surround the White House,” was partially organized by the progressive group Code Pink. This feminist grassroots organization advocates for ending U.S. warfare and imperialism, supporting peace and human rights initiatives, and redirecting resources to essential social programs like healthcare and education.

Code Pink’s Role and Message

Code Pink issued a statement regarding the protest, emphasizing their opposition to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. “June 8 marks eight months of US-Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people, and marks the 54th anniversary of the occupation of Gaza. A month ago, Biden said that the invasion of Rafah was a red line. But now, the invasion of Rafah has continued for weeks, has expanded to the entire Gaza Strip, Biden’s red line is nowhere to be seen. Instead of following through and stopping military aid to Israel, Biden has authorized billions more in weapons shipments to be used to kill and massacre Palestinians. Biden can’t draw the line, but we can. On June 8, we will come together from across the country and surround the White House. Wearing red, and raising our demands high, we will show the world that we are the red line. We demand an immediate ceasefire, an immediate end to the siege on Gaza, the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners, and an end to the occupation of Palestine.”

A member of Code Pink dressed in a large Biden mask and a black and white prison uniform enacted a skit, showing the president being chased down, arrested, and hauled away in handcuffs. The video was captioned, “ARREST BUTCHER BIDEN! Outside of the White House today, we ‘arrested’ the war criminal Biden.”

The group also symbolically “arrested” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged war crimes in Palestine.

Security Measures and Presidential Absence

The Secret Service anticipated the protests and erected anti-scale fencing around the White House. U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told Fox News, “In preparation for the events this weekend in Washington D.C. that have the potential for large crowds to gather, additional public safety measures, including anti-scale fencing, have been put in place near the White House complex.”

President Biden was in France on Saturday, meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Our Take

The intense and confrontational nature of these protests highlights the deep divisions and strong emotions surrounding U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. The calls for President Biden’s arrest and the symbolic arrests of both Biden and Netanyahu underscore a growing frustration with perceived inaction and complicity in the ongoing conflict. Such public displays of dissent are vital in a democracy, yet the aggressive tactics and vandalism seen here may undermine the protesters’ broader message. It is crucial that peaceful and constructive dialogue is prioritized to address these serious and complex issues.

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