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Almost 600 Arrested in Washington #WomenDisobey Protest

30 June 2018

By Thursday afternoon, 575 protesters had been arrested and escorted out of the Hart Senate Office Building by police, charged with the misdemeanor of unlawfully demonstrating, according to U.S. Capitol Police.

Among them was Washington state congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (main), the lawmaker said on Twitter.

A coalition of left-leaning activists, including groups that organized the massive women's marches the past two years, is helping to coordinate more than 600 demonstrations across the country.

Protesters loudly chanted "What do we want?"

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Hundreds of women gathered in Washington, D.C. on Thursday to drive one message home: "We care".

The scheduled protests come as the Trump administration continues to face the fallout from its "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the U.S. -Mexico border. "To hear how they had been treated, to hear how they. heard their children screaming next door for them and wanted to go to them but couldn't", said Jayapal, who was among the hundreds arrested during Thursday's demonstration at the Hart building.

The entrances to the Hart and Dirksen Senate office buildings were soon flooded by the women filing through the metal detectors.

Democratic senators Mazie Hirono, Tammy Duckworth, Kirsten Gillibrand and Jeff Merkley, who have been critical of Trump's immigration policies, spoke with some of the protesters.

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"So I got arrested", she began, added that there were approximately 500 women who were arrested with her on Capitol Hill.

"This moment is an inspiring reminder that the majority of this country is appalled at what's being done in our name", said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org, which is co-sponsoring the event. During their sit-in they called for the reunification of families and the dissolution of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Following Trump's signing of an executive order last week-only after the policy sparked global outrage-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will no longer separate families. "Shame! Shame!" at the Trump International Hotel.

"I decided that I, too, would sit down with them and submit to arrest", Jayapal said.

For Ingrid Zelaya, who works in communications at the immigrant advocacy group CASA, this was not her first protest, but it was her first act of civil disobedience.

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Almost 600 Arrested in Washington #WomenDisobey Protest