HomePoliticsTom Cotton calls on Americans to confront pro-Palestinian protesters blocking traffic

Tom Cotton calls on Americans to confront pro-Palestinian protesters blocking traffic

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Tuesday again encouraged Americans facing closed roads and heavy traffic due to protests over the war between Israel and Hamas in several cities across the country to take matters into their own hands.

In an interview with NBC News, the Republican senator labeled those who take to the streets to express their opposition to Israel’s handling of the conflict, which has so far killed at least 33,800 Palestinians, as “pro-Hamas vigilantes.”

“Absolutely, I support people: if they are stopped on the street by traffic, by pro-Hamas vigilantes, they should get out of their cars, put them on the side of the road and let the traffic pass. said Cotton.

Cotton, however, maintained that he was not advocating violence.

“I say that when people try to go to work, pick up their children from school or take a sick child to the doctor and there are pro-Hamas vigilantes blocking the streets,” he told the station, “they go outside.” and get those people off the streets.”

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In a separate interview on Fox News on Monday, Cotton commented on protests underway at the time in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and New York City’s Lower Manhattan, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

He said that if similar demonstrations were to take place in his home state “there would be a lot of very wet criminals who have been thrown overboard not by law enforcement, but by the people whose path they are blocking.”

“If they stuck their hands to a car or a sidewalk, it would probably be quite painful if their skin were torn off, but I think that’s the way we would handle it in Arkansas,” Cotton added.

Cotton demonstrated his view of “how it should be done” in a video he posted to puts violence aside. from the road.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has taken extreme action against protesters.

In 2020, during the racial justice protests over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, Cotton called for military action to shut them down, in a widely criticized New York Times op-ed titled : “Send the troops. ”

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What is needed is an “overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers,” he wrote.

Confrontations between ordinary citizens and protesters have proven dangerous in the past, with some people driving through crowds of demonstrators.

According to an analysis by The Boston Globe, between Floyd’s death and September 2021, “vehicles were driven into protests at least 139 times,” resulting in three deaths and more than 100 injuries. However, in most cases the driver was not punished, the newspaper said.

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