Congressional Members Speak With Protestors

On Wednesday, a group of conservative House lawmakers visited George Washington University (GW) in Washington, D.C., where they faced off with protesters who have been camping on campus for almost a week in support of Palestine. Videos posted on social media showed the Republican representatives, including Lauren Boebert, Byron Donalds, Anna Paulina Luna, and James Comer, addressing the crowd and engaging in heated exchanges with the protesters.

The Republican lawmakers were seen moving through the packed protests, with Boebert taking particular issue with a Palestinian flag that was draped across a statue of George Washington. She was seen attempting to remove the flag, arguing that the statue is federal property. Boebert also threatened to withhold federal funds from the university if faculty members did not address the protests.

The protests at GW have been ongoing since last week, with protesters calling for an end to Israel's ongoing conflict with Palestine. The university has repeatedly called for the encampment to be removed, but the protesters have refused to leave. In response, multiple students have been suspended by the university.

During the visit, the lawmakers spoke out against the protesters, accusing them of being organized and inciting violence. Luna also pointed out the difference between peaceful protest and intentionally disrupting university activities. She also denounced the use of racist signs by some of the protesters.

The lawmakers also highlighted the involvement of outside groups in the GW protests, with Comer announcing a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing next week to address the issue. He called on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to appear as witnesses.

However, Bowser has come under fire for failing to address the situation at GW. According to reports, MPD refused to confront the protesters despite requests from the university, citing the small number of peaceful protesters and concerns about the optics of removing them. Bowser did not directly address these claims in a press conference on Wednesday, but she did state that she supports the university and is in constant communication with its officials.

The presence of the conservative lawmakers sparked a heated response from the protesters, with some shouting questions and accusations at the representatives. In one moment captured by reporters, Donalds was surrounded by a group of protesters and was repeatedly interrupted as he attempted to answer a question. The tense interactions between the lawmakers and protesters highlighted the deep divide and strong emotions surrounding the issue of Israel and Palestine.

The ongoing protests at GW and other universities across the country reflect the widespread outrage and concern over the situation in the Middle East. Multiple universities have seen similar demonstrations in recent weeks, with students and activists advocating for an end to the violence and demanding solidarity with Palestine.

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