President Biden was not in the White House during the demonstration.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators on Saturday night climbed the fence surrounding the White House and smeared red paint on a gate to the president’s residence as tens of thousands rallied in Washington against the Biden administration’s support for Israel.
The demonstration, which attracted attendees from across the nation, started at 2 p.m. at the western end of Pennsylvania Avenue. As the crowd began marching through downtown Washington, many gathered outside the White House to yell for President Joe Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
In one video from the gates of the White House, a demonstrator can be seen climbing on the fence while waving a Palestinian flag. The crowd was also filmed shouting “[explicit] you Joe Biden” and “shame” at security guards on the other side of the fence.
President Biden was not in the White House during the demonstration. He spent the night at his vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
“We don’t want two states. We want 48!” chanted the Palestinian flag-waving crowd, according to another video shared from the scene. “Ceasefire Now! Ceasefire Now!”
The chant, which appeared to be a call for a unilateral ceasefire by Israel, is a reference to the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 when Israel’s five Arab neighbors attacked the newly formed country with the goal of its destruction.
Another chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” also rang out throughout the event. Many see the chant as equivalent to calling for the extermination of Israel and the annihilation of its people from the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
The demonstrators also placed Palestinian flags and signs and left graffiti on monuments near the White House. A group of protesters dipped their hands in red paint and smeared the concrete posts along the White House outer fence.
One man was arrested for destruction of property around 5:30 p.m., according to the police. He allegedly spray-painted a McDonald’s restaurant, writing the word “Gaza” on the windows.
By Bill Pan