Thursday, December 5, 2013

Police Threaten Children Singing Outside House Republican Leaders’ Offices With Arrest

More than 40 youths with the immigration advocacy group Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) have been busy chasing down Congressional members in Washington, D.C. this week, but very few House members have been willing to meet with them. On Thursday, when activists between the ages of six to 15, marched to the Congressional offices of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), they were threatened with arrest by Capitol police officers for singing.
When activists filed into Cantor’s office, a Congressional aide called on police officers to remove more than a dozen youths who sang as a way to bring about immigration reform. In the video as children sang, “We want reform, we want it now,” an officer showed up to tell them to stop singing or to risk arrest if they did not leave the office.
OFFICER 1: Is anyone planning on getting arrested today or is this all peaceful demonstration? We have to ask you to leave … I appreciate what you’re doing. The congressman can’t meet you right now, so please set it up through email. Please don’t sing again. We have to ask you to leave. Do you guys want to stay in and be subject to arrest or go out? … Do you want to leave now or be subject to arrest if you stay in this room? … Everyone that stays in this room may be arrested.
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