ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

search

Over 100 arrested at Pennsylvania state capitol protest calling to divest from Israel

Local police says demonstration objecting to US state’s investment in Israeli bonds was unauthorized, leading to the arrests

Police arrest some of about 200 people taken into custody on February 5, 2024, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/ Mark Scolforo)
Police arrest some of about 200 people taken into custody on February 5, 2024, in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/ Mark Scolforo)

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — Police took into custody more than 100 people protesting the Pennsylvania state government’s investments in Israel on Monday, shutting down a demonstration on the steps of the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg.

A spokesperson for the Department of General Services, which includes the Pennsylvania Capitol Police, said 126 people were taken into custody at what he described as an unpermitted, unauthorized demonstration. They were ordered to disperse before being arrested, issued citations for trespassing and then released, said spokesperson Troy Thompson.

The protestors, many wearing T-shirts that said “divest from genocide,” clapped and chanted during the protest, which organizers said was targeted at the state Treasury Department’s investment in Israel bonds.

One large sign said the state should reinvest that tax money in health care, housing, schools and climate. There were chants of “free Palestine” before and after they were arrested.

The event was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace, the Philly Palestine Coalition and the Pennsylvania Council on American-Islamic Relations. It began Monday morning outside the Capitol but moved to the Rotunda by early afternoon.

Lilah Saber, a participant in the protest, said it was solely focused on the state’s investment in Israel bonds.

“We did not plan on being arrested, but we were arrested,” Saber said.

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, a Republican, said state treasurers of both parties have invested in Israel bonds for more than 30 years. The state’s share of Israel bonds rose by $20 million after the Hamas-led October 7 terror onslaught that sparked the war in Gaza and is currently $56 million, Garrity said in a statement released by her office.

The state also holds about $8 million in other Israel-based securities. Together with the $56 million, that amounts to about 0.14% of the funds the Treasury Department actively manages, Garrity said.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.