Six House staffers were arrested by Capitol police officers following a climate change protest in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) office.
Capitol police were called to the senator’s office in room 322 in the Hart Senate Office Building at around 11:15 a.m. to respond to the demonstration, according to officials.
“Six demonstrators were arrested for DC Code §22-3302 Unlawful Entry for failing to leave the office after they were told to leave,” police stated. “The six people who were arrested are all House staffers.”
The House staffers arrested during the incident were Saul Levin, who worked for Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO); Aria Kovalovich, who works for Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA); Rajiv Sicora, who works for Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY); Courtney Koelbel, who works for Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD); Phillip Bennett, who works for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN); and Emma Preston, who also works for Khanna.
BREAKING: Congressional staff are staging a peaceful sit-in in @SenSchumer'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. 🖤🔥 pic.twitter.com/JHtAYDez4n
— Aria Kovalovich (@ariakov) July 25, 2022
Levin, the son of Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) and policy advisor for Bush, shared an image of himself and another staffer on social media during the demonstration.
“Right now, we Hill staffers are peacefully protesting Dem leaders INSIDE,” he captioned the photo.
“To my knowledge, this has never been done,” Levin added. “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/PwuWVFQoED
— Saul (@saaaauuull) July 25, 2022
Levin announced the protest in a tweet around 15 minutes before he sent out the picture, writing, “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!”
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!
— Saul (@saaaauuull) July 25, 2022
Speaking with NBC News after being arrested in Schumer’s office, Levin told the outlet that he was protesting for the Senate majority leader to “reopen the negotiations on climate reconciliation package and to actually pass climate legislation.”
When questioned as to why he chose Schumer’s office as the location for the protest, rather than the office of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Levin stated: “Because there’s always going to be a sheep that strays away from the herd,” adding that it is “the job of leadership to get the party together.”
USCP arrested six House staffers this afternoon for protesting inside @SenSchumer’s office demanding the majority leader restart negotiations to pass climate legislation.
— Julia Jester (@JulesJester) July 25, 2022
Schumer has previously claimed that he supports peaceful protesting, even explicitly supporting the illegal protests outside of the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices. “That’s the American way to peacefully protest… so as long as they are peaceful, that’s okay with me,” he said regarding the SCOTUS protests.
Apparently, to the majority leader, illegal protests attempting to intimidate Supreme Court justices are “the American way,” but peaceful protests in his office are worthy of arrest.
Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Wire, according to the outlet.