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Protesters demanding a cease-fire in Gaza interrupted Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s testimony at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Tuesday, leading to multiple ejections by police.

During the hearing, each time security removed a protester, another would stand to disrupt proceedings, leading to several interruptions that were broadcast live on cable news networks.

Committee Chair, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) called for respect and order in the hearing room. “I do recognize that people feel very passionately, but I ask that we have order in their hearing room and respect our speakers,” Murray commented. But the protests persisted, with multiple individuals advocating for a cease-fire and condemning U.S. financial support for Israel’s actions in Gaza. Others employed a more silent form of protest, raising their hands while seated, evidently to circumvent restrictions against standing during the hearing.

Secretary Blinken, along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, was testifying about a budget request that included funding for both Israel and Ukraine. Responding to the protesters, Blinken acknowledged the anger, saying, “All of us are committed to the protection of civilian life. We stand resolutely with our allies and partners when their democracies are threatened. We stand resolutely for the protection of innocent civilians.”


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