Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Tuesday sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to direct the Department of Justice to investigate pro-Hamas demonstrators that attempted to obstruct U.S. military ships from delivering aid to Israel.
Protesters demanding a cease-fire in the Israeli war in Gaza blocked a U.S. military supply ship leaving the Port of Oakland, California, for hours Friday by locking themselves to the vessel, CBS Bay Area reported.
“The protesters also blocked the entrance to Berth 20 where the container carrier Cape Orlando is moored. Protest groups say the ship is bound for Israel after being loaded with weapons and military equipment in Tacoma, Washington,” CBS Bay Area reported.
The protest of about 200 people, many holding Palestinian flags and signs demanding an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, was organized by the San Francisco-based Arab Resource Organizing Center.
Sen. Cotton noted that trespassing on or damaging military property breaks several federal laws, and those who do so should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
In his letter to the attorney general, Sen. Cotton wrote: “Yesterday, hundreds of pro-Hamas extremists shut down the Port of Tacoma to obstruct what they believed to be a military ship transporting military aid to Israel. A few days earlier, many of these same saboteurs reportedly blocked the entrance to a port in Oakland, tampered with a military ship’s mooring lines, and attempted to scale the ship with a rope ladder. Any attempt to impede and interfere with U.S. military movements, like attempting to trespass on or damage military property, breaks several federal laws. Each person involved in these schemes should be arrested promptly and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The letter to Garland continued:
“Further, two left-wing extremist groups, the Bay Area Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC) and the Tacoma Democratic Socialists of America, coordinated and organized these criminal mobs, for instance, by operating shuttle services to transport the saboteurs. The members and leaders of those groups should also be investigated and prosecuted, including for criminal conspiracy.
“The Department of Justice must take immediate action against these criminals; otherwise, it will send a dangerous message that radical activists can undermine our Armed Forces with impunity.”
Lara Kiswani, executive director of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, the organizer of the protests, said: “We’re hoping that when it reaches Tacoma, the workers in Tacoma will not load that military cargo, that people of Tacoma will show up to protest this genocide and that workers around the world will continue to stop ships like this anywhere they may be found.”
“We are simply trying to call for an immediate cease-fire and stop the aiding of the genocide of my people.”
This demonstration happened less than 24 hours after the House passed a $14.3 billion aid package to Israel, following the unprecedented Hamas terror attack of Oct. 7.
In addition to the anti-Israel protests at the Bay Area ports, there have been multiple pro-Palestinian demonstrations in cities and colleges.
Peter Malbin | email@example.com
Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com.
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