The United States Capitol Police arrested six House staffers on Monday for protesting inside the office of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Capitol Police responded to a protest that took place in room 322 of the Hart Senate Office Building around 11:15 a.m. on Monday, according to the Daily Wire.
“Six demonstrators were arrested for DC Code §22-3302 Unlawful Entry for failing to leave the office after they were told to leave,” police said. “The six people who were arrested are all House staffers.”
The arrested staffers were Saul Levin, Aria Kovalovich, Courtney Koelhel, Emma Preston, Phillip Bennet, and Rajiv Sicora, according to the police.
Kovalovich tweeted during the incident, “BREAKING: Congressional staff are staging a peaceful sit-in in [Senator Schumer’s] office to protest our leaders’ failure and inaction on climate policy and urge them to use every last negotiating tool to meet this moment. The time to act is NOW. Staffers, come through.”
Saul Levin, the son of Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., also participated in the protest, tweeting, “BREAKING: we, staffers of the US Congress, are peacefully sitting in on Senator Schumer’s office to demand Dems pass climate justice policy this year. We are putting our bodies on the line because we have no other choice. Follow along for updates from inside!”
About 15 minutes later, Levin posted a follow-up tweet, attaching a picture of himself and one of the other staffers, saying, “Right now, we Hill staffers are peacefully protesting Dem leaders INSIDE. To my knowledge, this has never been done. We’ve also never seen climate catastrophe, so we’re meeting the moment. Follow along as we fight with everything we have to jumpstart climate negotiations.”
After his arrest, Levin told NBC news that they were protesting in order to pressure Schumer to “reopen the negotiations on climate reconciliation package and to actually pass climate legislation.”
The staffers chose to protest at Schumer’s office rather than Sen. Joe Manchin’s, D-W.Va., “Because there’s always going to be a sheep that strays away from the herd,” Levin said, adding that it is “the job of leadership to get the party together.”
Last week, the United States Capitol Police were in headlines for pushing back on the U.S. Attorney’s office’s decision to not prosecute the “Colbert Nine” staffers from Stephen Colbert’s show who were arrested for lying about being credentialed press and entering federal buildings without a congressional staffer to accompany them.
“It is unfortunate that despite all of the evidence the Department presented, including that the group or its leader had been told several times that they could not be in the buildings without an escort, that the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to prosecute any members of the group for Unlawful Entry,” Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in an open letter.
Schumer, who supported the protests outside the homes of Supreme Court justices in response to the leaked draft opinion that would eventually lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, has yet to comment on the peaceful protest that took place in his office.
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