Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal is among the more than 500 protesters who were arrested inside a Capitol office building on Thursday while demonstrating against President Trump’s policies on illegal immigration.
The protest, which included hundreds demonstrators, took place in the Hart Senate Office Building. The protesters were calling for the abolishment of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and were heard chanting “abolish ICE." Most of the protesters were female.
Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the United States Capitol Police, said 575 individuals were charged with unlawfully demonstrating in the atrium of the building.
“I was just arrested with 500+ women and @WomensMarch to say @RealDonaldTrump’s cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue. Not in our country. Not in our name. June 30 we’re putting ourselves in the street again,” Jayapal tweeted.
It is rare that the Capitol Police would arrest a member on Capitol grounds. The protesters were arrested for demonstrating inside the building, according to two police officers. The officers said the protesters could have demonstrated outside but were arrested for being inside.
New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also appeared at the demonstration, calling it “an amazing protest of women speaking out to be heard.”
“People across my state of New York, all across the country are furious with this administration’s policy to separate children from their parents,” Gillibrand said.
After an outcry over the separation of parents and children at the border, Trump last week signed an executive order to allow children to stay with parents caught crossing the border illegally.
At one point, protesters and police were seen battling over the signs in the building. Capitol police were seen trying to rip down “abolish ICE” signs from the balconies, but the protestors were keep trying to take them back and hang them up.
Fox News’ Raymond Bogan, Chad Pergram and Brenton Roy contributed to this report.