/  07.19.2022

On Tuesday (July 19), several members of Congress were arrested during a protest against the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. U.S. Capitol police claim they began making arrests when activists continued blocking First Street NE outside of the Capitol building. The police department’s official Twitter page wrote, “It is against the law to block traffic, so officers are going to give our standard three warnings before they start making arrests.”

According to authorities, they issued a warning three times to unblock the passageway before detaining dozens of demonstrators. The Capitol police tweeted, “We have already given our standard three warnings. Some of the demonstrators are refusing to get out of the street, so we are starting to make arrests.”

At least 17 members of Congress were arrested, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Carolyn Maloney, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, Madeleine Dean, Nydia Velazquez, Barbara Lee, Jackie Speier, Katherine Clark, Sara Jacobs, Rashida Tlaib, Andy Levin, Alma Adams, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Veronica Escobar, Ilhan Omar, and Jan Schakowsky. The lawmakers are expected to be released shortly and fined for violations of laws against crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.

AOC was photographed being escorted with her hands behind her back, but she wasn’t handcuffed. She joined the other detainees on a lawn near the courthouse as they shouted, “My body, my choice!” Capitol Police confirmed they made 34 arrests.

After being arrested, Maloney reportedly said, “There is no democracy if women do not have control over their own bodies and decisions about their own health, including reproductive care,” according to Axios. Levin added, “Our country has never really made big changes, not expanded rights, based on some senators and representatives having a lovely conversation in the Capitol. It happens because of social movements. It happens because people march, people protest, people organize, people get arrested.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Democratic representative slammed Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia for not prioritizing discussions about climate negotiations. “Manchin has paused all action for the United States to act on climate for the last four years”, she told The Independent. “So I don’t think he has any authority to speak on climate for the rest of our term here.” In the same breath, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised Joe Biden for possibly declaring a climate emergency. “Declaring a national emergency provides the president broad authorizations to act on climate,” she said. “I think it’s an essential step. And we also need to hear what he plans to do with that.”

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