On Thursday, one day after Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) was censured for anti-Semitism, a group of Congressional staffers wearing facemasks assembled on the steps of the Capitol to protest in support of Hamas.
Approximately 100 people sat on the House steps, with a large white banner that read “Congressional Staff for a Ceasefire Now” behind three speakers who recited their demands to their Congressmen bosses.
Additionally, staff members held bouquets of flowers that were placed across the plaza in front of them.
A flyer sent to staffers about the protest advised them to hide their identities by wearing facemasks, concealing their Congressional IDs, covering tattoos and by leaving their work phones in their office.
During the protest, speakers made brief mention of the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel by Palestinians from Gaza but did not address the full impact of this attack (1,400 killed, mostly civilians, and over 200 kidnapped).
Instead, they focused on decrying the “thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians” allegedly killed by Israeli counter-attacks on Hamas in Gaza since October 7.
The staffers demanded of their Congressmen bosses that they speak up, call for a ceasefire, and an immediate de-escalation now; however, their language equated Israel’s defensive actions with the Hamas terrorist attack and would leave Hamas in power in Gaza.
Additionally, they also called for the release of “all hostages,” which is understood to be a request by Hamas that Israel release all Hamas terrorists lawfully held prisoner in exchange for freeing the Israelis taken hostage by them.
— Jehad Abusalim جهاد أبو سليم (@JehadAbusalim) November 8, 2023
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) November 8, 2023
Over a 100 congressional staffers in a vigil calling for a ceasefire. #gaza
"Most of our bosses on Capitol Hill are not listening to the people they represent. We demand our leaders speak up: call for a ceasefire, a release of all hostages, and an immediate de-escalation now." pic.twitter.com/17GDK3mV4J
— Biesan Abu-Kwaik بيسان أبو كويك (@BiesanAK) November 8, 2023
Instructions to hide identities:
Congressional staffers should not be silenced.
Sharing this event happening ASAP from an anonymous group of Hill organizers. The event will be brief, so head to the Capitol now to join! pic.twitter.com/ZAVFo0EBq7
— Congressional Progressive Staff Association (@cpsaDC) November 8, 2023
Here is a close up video of the speakers:
“We are Congressional staffers on Capitol Hill and we are no longer comfortable being silent.”
Compressional staffers speak out on Palestine, demand their bosses listen to their constituents, and call for a ceasefire pic.twitter.com/RnzsSxg2C1
— Remi Kanazi (@Remroum) November 8, 2023