Five members of the Maine Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America were arrested Friday for criminal trespassing after they staged a pro-Palestine protest at the Portland office of Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).
Socialists Leo Hilton, 26, Elinor Hilton, 23, Christopher Cushing, 26, Jamie Clark, 22, and Ella D. Tabasky, 42, were lugged just after 4pm Friday at Rep. Pingree’s office on the Portland Fishing Pier, according to the Portland Police Department’s arrest logs.
In a video posted on X, Hilton said the protesters wanted to speak with Pingree’s staff about a resolution to halt aid to Israel until the country agrees to a ceasefire resolution introduced in Congress by Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
“We were just rallying with dozens and dozens of members of the community in support for Congresswoman Chellie Pingree signing on to the Ceasefire Now Resolution,” said Hilton.
Pingree’s staffers refused to let them into the office and locked the door, according to Hilton.
Israel’s military offensive in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks remains ongoing.
As the Israeli military has successfully prosecuted the war in Gaza, calls have grown in the U.S. — especially among left-wing political groups — for the U.S. to broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorists.
At a rally last month, just days after Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,300 Israelis in a surprise attack, DSA member Zach Campbell defended the terrorists.
“The corporate media and politicians want the public to believe that Israel is simply defending itself from ‘terrorism’ — that’s a lie,” Campbell, the rally’s emcee, said in his opening remarks.
“The actions of the resistance over the course of the last day is a morally and legally legitimate response to the occupation,” he said, referring to the Hamas attack.
Portland officials have refused to comment on the rally.
The protesters’ Friday stunt was publicized by “IfNotNow“, an activist group that purports to be comprised of Jewish people who support Palestine.
IfNotNow’s first statement following the Oct. 7 terror campaign also attempted to justify the terrorism.
“[W]e cannot and will not say today’s actions by Palestinian militants are unprovoked. Every day under Israel’s apartheid system is a provocation,” the statement said.
The protest comes as hate crimes against American Jews have increased by 400 percent.
At least two Jewish-owned businesses in Portland have been targeted with pro-Palestine vandalism in the past week.