NEWS RELEASE: Minnesota Civic Leaders Arrested in Capitol Rotunda Calling for Ceasefire and End of U.S. Funding for Weapons to Israel, Border Militarization

Dozens of national movement leaders arrested in D.C.

CONTACT: Kenza Hadj-Moussa, khadjmoussa@gmail.com or 612-386-9556

Washington D.C. — Today, at least 50 national movement and organization leaders, including Minnesotans, were arrested while staging a protest in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and opposing the proposed U.S. supplemental package, which would send billions of dollars in weapons and military funding to Israel, U.S. southern border militarization, and immigration enforcement. 

Minnesota Executive Directors Elianne Farhat of TakeAction Minnesota and Rod Adams of The New Justice Project, took part in the action along with labor advocates Mikhail Dei-Anang and Janette Zahia Corcelius, OPEIU local 12 rank & file member. Leaders joined with organizations from across the nation in this unprecedented action as the U.S. Senate debates the $106 billion spending package, with President Biden and Senate Democrats signaling a willingness to concede to Republicans’ demands for sweeping immigration reforms in order to pass the package prior to Congress’ holiday recess. If passed, the package will further fuel Israel’s genocide in Gaza as the Biden administration refuses to call for a ceasefire, and cause irrevocable harm to immigrants and migrants in the U.S. and at our borders.  

The delegation of Minnesota leaders released the following statement: 

“Minnesota has a long legacy of standing for peace because we know our futures are tied. From Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone to Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Ilhan Omar – we have sent representatives to Washington, D.C. to champion human rights, human dignity and peaceful diplomacy. Minnesota-based grassroots movements for peace like the Honeywell Project and Women Against Military Madness (W.A.M.M.) lay a foundation for the current generation of peace organizers to build on. And, we are building. 

In the past two months, we have witnessed unprecedented organizing across our state demanding peace. Across race, religion, geography Minnesotans have come together with one unified voice to condemn U.S. funded violence against innocent Palestinians and demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Just this past weekend Ceasefire Carolers lifted up their voices to move Senator Amy Klobuchar and last month Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg courageously called on President Joe Biden to deliver a ceasefire.  

The stakes of this moment are very high. We act today with our eyes on the future–both next year and the next seven generations. President Joe Biden, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, Members of Congress and elected officials at every level of government must use their positions and influence to deliver on the clear, unequivocal demand of the majority of Minnesotans: permanent ceasefire now. 

This past legislative session, Minnesota showed what it looks like to invest in people and in a welcoming place. From the streets to the ballot box to the halls of policy making, we will continue to act with unbreakable solidarity for budgets that invest in homes, schools, food and care over war and violence.”

Over the last few months, Minnesotans have organized and raised their voices across different tactics, identities, and religions to advocate for a ceasefire in Gaza and this action is a continuation of that push. Recent polling from reThink shows that two-thirds of Americans think that Israel should call a ceasefire. 

The diverse national coalition included leaders from Palestinian, immigrant, Jewish, veteran, climate, labor, and youth groups representing the interests of tens of millions of people across the U.S., including constituents of electorally-critical states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Florida. The action signals growing solidarity between communities across movements, as seen in the release of a separate joint statement from more than 60 racial and economic justice, immigrant, Palestinian, Jewish, environmental, labor, and allied groups opposing the supplemental package and attempts from Congress and the Biden administration to use their communities as bargaining chips. 


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