October 8th, 2013
06:46 PM ET
12 months ago

Members of Congress arrested at immigration rally

Updated 10/9/2013 at 11:26am

Washington (CNN) - Several House Democrats were arrested near the Capitol on Tuesday during a march for immigration reform.

Reps. John Lewis, Charlie Rangel, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutierrez, Al Green and Joseph Crowley locked arms with other protesters, allegedly blocking traffic and refusing to disperse.

Approximately 200 demonstrators were arrested, according to U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kim Schneider. The demonstration activity has concluded, Schneider said, and all roads that had been closed are open.

Those arrested will face charges of "crowding, obstructing and incommoding," according to Schneider.

Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights era, has been no stranger to civil disobedience arrests. He's been arrested five times as a member of Congress, including the immigration rally, according to his Congressional office, and at least 45 in total.

No altercations were seen as police used plastic cuffs to restrain the protesters, searched them and led them to police vans for transport and processing.

Following the arrests, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement in support of the protests.

"The enthusiastic demonstration of support for immigration reform this week has proven to Congress that the broad coalition behind commonsense solutions to our nation’s broken immigration laws is as strong as it has ever been," Carney said in a written statement. "It is time for House Republicans to put politics aside and join Democrats to fix our broken immigration system and make the economy stronger."

In addition to members of Congress, protest attendees included Latino artists and members of pro-reform groups.

The rally came under fire by conservative groups earlier in the week after it was issued a permit by the National Park Service despite the partial government shutdown that resulted in the closure of the National Mall.


Filed under: Congress • Immigration
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. bstauss4

    Why was there a rally on the "closed" Mall? So, veterans are not allowed to visit their memorial, but illegals are allowed to protest? wake up people

    October 8, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. J R Brown

    Well...it's nice to see that the lawmakers are protesting their own laws. Maybe they should do something that actually matters...like write laws.

    October 8, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Rocky Marshall

    In case you are keeping track of the Dirtbags in Washington.Today in D.C they somehow found the funds to allow Illegal Aliens to hold a protest rally in the Mall, the one that has been closed up until today due to the Government shut down. Well, a bunch of Liberal Congressmen pulled some strings(bitched and threatened) the Park Service into allowing them to invite a bunch of Illegal Aliens in for a rally.I guess during this Government Shutdown they didn't have anything better to do. Well, after the Congressmen got the Park Service to open up the Mall for the Illegals, they decided to walk out into traffic and shut down the roadways. These are those Dirtbags;
    Rep. Keith Ellis (D-MN), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Al Green (D-TX), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Jan Schawkowsky (D-IL) and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)

    October 8, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. bilbfit

    Maybe they'll get reamed, and get to learn the shape of our jail/prison system firsthand.

    October 8, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Satch99

    Yeah, with the Congressmen there you know the cops played by the rules.

    But when it is just "us citizens," they get out the billy clubs, tasers and pepper spray! Sadly about half the cops do not care whether you are peaceful or not. THey just want to bust heads.

    America – 3rd world by the day!

    October 8, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Rick

    6 democrats get arrested in a rally that gets a permit while people in their 80`s get thrown out of their house and refused enterance to memorials they helped put their ! Has shame died along with respect ?

    October 8, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. praline3001

    You would think they would have more important things to do today ... like trying to get our government up and running...

    October 8, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Andy

    Deport them along with all the illegals there

    October 8, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. CTYank

    "Conservative" is incorrect. Try "reactionary." Better fit.

    October 8, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. maxp0wer

    Get back inside, and get the budget fixed!

    October 8, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. are122

    incommoding?? What the heck does that mean? They all tried to use the same commode??

    October 8, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. hefailed

    Should read Illegal Immigration Reform...

    October 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. Bribarian

    Ya great time for immigration reform, glad the country is collapsing.

    You libs wrecked it completely.

    October 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Terry

    These are nothing but thugs who were elected to represent American citizens, not illegal alien criminals. That's the thing with mexicans, mexico and their personal issues are always first and foremost, and America is only for what they can steal from taxpayers. Scum of the earth

    October 8, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. truebob

    Seems a little undignified. Aren't protests directed at these guys?

    October 8, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    publicity stunt...

    October 8, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Ken

    I would like to see immigration reform 100% but would not go to jail over it.

    October 8, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. GNoise

    did they give Charlie Rangel his old cell?

    October 8, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  19. mom

    Totally amazing. All other functions banned on federal properties around this nation, yet this rally took place, and "BO" even took time to speak in support of it. In spite of the fact that part of these serious fiscal problems causing the shutdown really DO have to do with "giving away the farm" to too many people, millions of which are illegally living here and demanding many services. I am very glad people were arrested at this rally, including a bunch of leftist congressmen who can't think for themselves and basically always just do BO's bidding.
    Oh how I wish Obama was slapped into handcuffs for his many offenses against our country. Even the illegal IRS investigations and audits of conservative groups have not gotten him thrown out. He has done far worse things than Nixon, and Nixon at least resigned. BO is allowed to roll right along as if nothing ever happens that he has caused. The last six years have been full of amazing double standards.

    October 8, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. cam

    Glad to hear that 8 members of congress were arrested during the immigration rally. I hope they throw away the key. These house members just showed how disrespectful they are toward the American people by allowing illegal immigrants on the national mall but not the American people. I call that tyranny

    October 8, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. LittleAztec

    So the repubs think it's ok for them to tear down barriers that the park service put up even though the mall is closed, but that others are not allowed to use it–double standard again

    October 8, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. Rett

    "Incommoding"? That is a new one on me.....sounds like it has something to do with a commode....a member of Congress charged with "incommoding" conjures up all kinds of troubling images.

    October 8, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Now why can't we have the Republicans in the House of Representatives arrested for bringing the United States Government to its knees? This is a far more egregious act than blocking traffic and refusing to disperse. Perhaps its because these Tea Party folk are not Democrats and are not black.

    October 8, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Winston Smith

    None were republicans. Just goes to show that they don't care about anyone except the wealthy and very wealthy.

    October 8, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. KG

    Now why can't we have the Republicans in the House of Representatives arrested for bringing the United States Government to its knees? This is a far more egregious act than blocking traffic and refusing to disperse. Perhaps its because these Tea Party folk are not Democrats and are not black.

    October 8, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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