OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters led by Jewish peace activists calling for a cease-fire in Gaza staged a sit-in inside of the federal building in Oakland, California, leading to multiple arrests.
People wore T-shirts reading “Jews Say Cease-fire Now” and carried banners that read “Not in Our Name” and “Let Gaza Live” in the rotunda of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal building on Monday evening.
Jewish Voice for Peace, one of the protest organizers, posted online that dozens of people had been taken into custody by 9 p.m.
Protesters were escorted outside of the building by U.S. Department of Homeland Security police. Messages were sent early Tuesday to the department and to Oakland police asking how many people were arrested and on what charges.
“There is no other choice,” Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb of Berkeley told KNTV-TV when explaining why she was at the sit-in. “How many people do we have to kill before we arrive at a cease-fire?”
The protest was part of a growing number across the country following fighting triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel, whose response has led to thousands of deaths — and much destruction — across Gaza.
On Monday, hundreds of Jewish peace activists and their allies converged at a major train station in downtown Chicago during rush hour blocking the entrance to the Israeli consulate and demanding U.S. support for an Israel cease-fire.
Jewish Voice for Peace led a similar sit-in in New York City’s Grand Central Station on Oct. 27, where a sea of protesters filled the main concourse during evening rush hour, chanting slogans and unfurling banners demanding a cease-fire as Israel intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. At least 200 demonstrators were detained by New York police officers.
The story has been updated to correct a typo in the name of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building.