Police Arrest Congressmen, Protesters at Immigration Rally Outside Capitol

Rep. John Lewis and others were cuffed and escorted out of a gathering of nearly 20,000 Tuesday afternoon.

Protesters hold up signs and an American flag during a rally in support of immigration reform Tuesday on the National Mall.
National Journal
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Elahe Izad
Oct. 8, 2013, 12:54 p.m.

While talk over the gov­ern­ment shut­down and the debt ceil­ing raged in­side the Cap­it­ol, out­side a num­ber of Demo­crat­ic law­makers were get­ting ar­res­ted in what they dubbed as an act of civil dis­obedi­ence.

Reps. Lu­is Gu­ti­er­rez, Keith El­lis­on, Joseph Crow­ley, Al Green, and John Lewis were among the ar­res­ted, as crowds bel­lowed Si se puede! The ar­res­ted, in­clud­ing oth­er pro­test­ers, were led away in zip-wire hand­cuffs by Cap­it­ol Po­lice, which have been on the job but for­go­ing pay since the gov­ern­ment shut down. It was all a planned por­tion of a massive im­mig­ra­tion rally that began on the Na­tion­al Mall on Tues­day morn­ing. Or­gan­izers es­tim­ated 20,000 pro­test­ers at­ten­ded at the peak of the rally.

The law­makers will each need to post a $50 fine, and there will likely be an Eth­ics Com­mit­tee re­port gen­er­ated as a res­ult of the in­cid­ent, ac­cord­ing to one aide. The ex­act reas­on for their ar­rests is not yet known.

House Demo­crats in­tro­duced last week an im­mig­ra­tion pro­pos­al that would re­move a con­tro­ver­sial bor­der se­cur­ity meas­ure from a com­pre­hens­ive bill ap­proved by the Sen­ate in June.

Watch a tour bus caught near the crowds:

Pho­tos from the rally:

Lawmakers, including Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., (back, center), Keith Ellison, DFL-Minn., (center), Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. (to his right) and Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, joined thousands of protesters Tuesday on the National Mall. (Elahe Izadi) Elahe Izadi
Capitol Police escort a handcuffed Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. from a rally in support of immigration reform outside the Capitol Tuesday afternoon. (Elahe Izadi) Elahe Izadi
Organizers estimated 20,000 protesters attended the rally at its peak Tuesday. (Elahe Izadi) Elahe Izadi
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