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Video: Left-wing activists occupy Speaker McCarthy’s D.C. office in protest

Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 11, 2023

Left-wing activists occupied House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office in Washington, D.C., on Monday over the reauthorization of PEPFAR, a program that works with nonprofits to provide HIV/AIDS medication around the world.

Video of the protest was shared on X, formerly Twitter, by Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein. The protesters were arrested and “marched out in zip ties” while chanting “pass PEPFAR now,” according to Ollstein.

“BREAKING: Activists are occupying @SpeakerMcCarthy’s office demanding a full 5 year reauthorization of PEPFAR, which some Rs are opposing,” Ollstein wrote.

Housing Works, one of the groups behind the protest, posted on X that it was “proud” to be part of the demonstration.

“BREAKING: We’re proud to be with @HealthGAP occupying the D.C. office of @SpeakerMcCarthy calling on him to PASS PEPFAR NOW. This global AIDS program has saved 25 million lives. We need a CLEAN 5-YEAR REAUTHORIZATION from Congress,” the group wrote.

Health Gap, the other group involved, posted, “As activists from @housingworks and @HealthGAP are arrested in an act of civil disobedience in Speaker McCarthy’s office, a reminder that @PEPFAR exists today because of brave activist direct action targeting duty bearers. Proud of activists! #ProudofPEPFAR.”

Many X users recognized the similarities between the left-wing activists occupying McCarthy’s office and the right-wing protesters who demonstrated at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Put them in the DC jail without due process. I don’t make the rules,” Students for Trump founder Ryan Fournier posted on X.

“Look at this insurrection,” wrote lawyer Jenna Ellis, who was indicted last month alongside former President Donald Trump over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

“This could be 1) Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds; 2) Disorderly Conduct in a Capitol Building; 3) Impeding Passage Through the Capitol Grounds or Buildings; 4) Parading, Demonstrating, or Picketing in a Capitol Building, and more,” Byron York of the Washington Examiner posted on X.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.