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The Grizzly Gazette

Pennsylvania Capitol Protests

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Protests located at Capitol Hill in Pennsylvania involving the country’s politics (Photo Credits: iStock)

Protests against government policies and decisions regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have increased within the last six months due to the expanded military action against Palestine from Israel. The U.S. government has decided to support Israel, as the country has done since 1948. 

In 2016, during Obama’s presidency, an agreement to $3.8 billion over ten years was made-and this number has increased as of the current date. 

Many citizens disagree with this increase in funding. The issue with many lies in the government using taxpayer money to invest in a situation that many disagree with and find wrong. 

On February 5, 2024, protestors located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania were arrested and the organized demonstration was shut down entirely. Around 126 individuals were put under police arrest. Police arrived at the scene and told the group to leave, and if they did not they would be taken into custody. These individuals were arrested for trespassing but were eventually released with no charges. 

The protestors at this demonstration wore shirts that had text stating “divest from genocide”, criticizing the government’s decision to send money to Israel. 

One of the protestors Lilah Saber spoke about the protests. 

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

The demonstration was not violent, and the protestors mainly chanted phrases like “Free Palestine”. 

Although the main reason for the protest was to support Palestine, some of these marchers also claimed that this money should be used for other things, such as healthcare. The groups that had organized/were a part of the protests were “Jewish Voice for Peace” and “Harrisburg Palestine Coalitions”. 

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is set to continue, and the U.S. government seems to plan on maintaining its relationship with Israel. 

“The United States has provisionally agreed (via a memorandum of understanding) to provide Israel with nearly $4 billion a year through 2028, and U.S. lawmakers are considering billions of dollars in supplementary funding for Israel and its war with Hamas,” said “Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)”.

Despite the government passing this legislation, citizens still have mixed ideas about the situation. Like the protestors, some believe that this plan is not right, while others want to continue the support for the Israel conflict. Around 15 percent of Israel’s defense budget consists of U.S. aid. On top of this, the U.S. invests in programs that work together with Israel. 

“Additionally, $500 million a year is slated for Israeli and joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs, in which the two countries collaborate on the research, development, and production of these systems used by Israel, including the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow II,” said CFR.

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