HAPPENING NOW: U.S. Activists Arrested Protesting President Biden’s Violent Funding Request to Congress

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Washington, DC – Right now, at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing, seven activists representing progressive causes across the United States, including immigrant rights groups, are being arrested for demanding an immediate ceasefire and that members of Congress vehemently reject the White House’s supplemental funding request. With red paint on their hands, activists chanted “from Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go!”

In October, President Biden made a supplemental funding request of $105 billion, including $14 billion for the Israeli government, $2.5 billion for ICE, more than tripling the previously requested amount in September, and $5.3 billion for CBP. Activists underscore that the funding requested would fuel the violence, destruction, and genocidal war of over two million people in Gaza, while also doubling down on a policy of hyper militarization and incarceration that makes our communities less safe.

Today’s protest followed an earlier demonstration at the hearing, only adding to the mass demonstrations across the country demanding the U.S. government change course now.

Images via C-Span Screenshots

Activists participating in the civil disobedience, released the following statements:

Gabriela Viera, Senior Advocacy Manager at Detention Watch Network, said:

“Militarizing our borders and incarcerating migrants has never made our communities safer, and neither has propagating this agenda abroad. We condemn Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and all forms of racism, which we understand to be at the root of the U.S.’s shameful reliance on military and law enforcement in the face of human needs. Detention Watch Network is in solidarity with the Palestinian people and our many partners and allies in demanding an immediate ceasefire and that members of Congress vehemently reject this funding request.”

Sharmin Hossain, Organizing Director, 18 Million Rising, said:

“There is a genocide happening against Palestinians right now. The U.S. government bears responsibility for its political, economic, and military support of Israel’s apartheid regime, sending over $3.8 billion in aid a year. We cannot stand idle as our own American tax dollars fund this violence - this supplemental aid will only further the occupation and human rights violations of Gazans and people across occupied Palestine. Over 8,000 have been brutally murdered in 20 days, and the air strikes are continuing as we interrupt this Senate hearing. END ALL US AID TO ISRAEL NOW. CEASEFIRE NOW.”

Juan Ortiz with Casa Carmelita and Sacred Liberation, said: 

“We in the SouthWest know the intersections between settler colonialism, militarism and the carceral state. And we, as much as anyone, know the true cost. Supporting one is supporting all. Funding one is funding all!”

Samir Shrestha, an Indigenous person from Nepal, said:

“I am here today because my Palestinian comrades are tired and we need to do everything we can to support them while they are responding to the genocide of their people. Because they teach me about love and liberation and show up for my peoples everyday.”

Anonymous activist, said:

“We are all witnessing massive human rights violations, a genocide funded by our own tax dollars. Biden has blood on his hands and we refuse to be silent as he continues to fund the killing of thousands of Palestinians.”