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Protesters surround White House

Protesters clad in keffiyeh began gathering outside the presidential residence in Washington, D.C., Saturday morning. Their signs called on President Joe Biden to “free Palestine” and “end the siege on Gaza now.” Others stood in a line draped in a two-mile-long red banner around the White House to symbolize the “red line” Israel crossed when they began the operation in Rafah, a southern city in Gaza where many Palestinians have fled to.

Some protesters threw smoke flares just outside the White House gates. A plume of smoke hung over and above the crowd.

At one point, U.S. Park Police were on the scene with mace to fend off protesters. They were allegedly attempting to arrest one of the protesters when the crowd began yelling at them to stop, screaming, “Let her go.” It was not immediately clear what they were attempting to arrest her in connection with. In the exchange, police sprayed mace, and it appeared they eventually let the protester go without completing the arrest.

High Plains Pundit confirmed with the DC Metropolitan Police Department and the Secret Service that no arrests have been made at the time of this report. Meanwhile, the protest has resulted in road closures, namely 16th Street between I Street and H Street NW, which is a direct street to the White House.

Reporters on the scene have said the White House is completely surrounded with the red line banner, from corner to corner. Biden is not in the residence; he is in France on a trip to commemorate D-Day.

The protest comes 245 days after Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing over 1,200 Israelis, reigniting the latest conflict between the two. Clashes have largely remained within the Gaza area ever since the surprise attack.

Protests like these have a seemingly large influence on the president. Biden’s call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came amid increasing pressure in Michigan to do so. A movement began encouraging Democratic voters to vote “uncommitted” in the state’s primary election as a form of protest against the president’s support of Israel. The number of uncommitted votes resulted in Biden losing two delegates, who will be free to vote for any candidate they’d like later this year.

Additionally, some 46,000 Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin voted “uninstructed” later, which was double the lead Biden won the state by in 2020. 

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