Day two of the House Foreign Affairs Committee meetings, on authorizing use of military force in Syria, started like most other hearings do on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Ed Royce, Committee Chairman, opened the hearings in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill with a typical sounding statement on the issue. Rep. Eliot Engel, Committee Ranking Member, followed up with a statement of his own.
It was immediately thereafter however, as Secretary Kerry began giving his opening remarks, when the activists became visible to the public.
Multiple members from what looks to be the “Code Pink” activist organization, seated directly behind Kerry in perfect view of the camera, could be seen holding up red-painted hands, as if to say the US is who actually has blood on its hands.
Others also had their mouths taped shut, seemingly making the statement that the American people have been silenced on this issue. Considering the vast majority of Americans are against military action in Syria, with what seems to be complete disregard of the public's wishes by Kerry, Hagel and the rest of the Obama administration.
C-SPAN's cameras were noticeably attempting to avoid showing the protesters with different camera angles, but to not much avail, considering their strategic location.
Police were also seen considering violating the protester’s constitutional right to free speech and began to surround the seated protesters only minutes after the hearing began, but seemingly decided not to intervene for fear of disrupting the hearing and possibly giving more attention to the protesters than they are already likely to receive.
Thanks to their overwhelming presence in the audience, during Kerry's opening remarks he was forced to acknowledge they were there, admitting they had confronted him on his way in to the hearing and asked him not to bomb yet another country.
Defiant as always, while pointing at the activists in the room, Kerry took the typical stance however that, while no one wants to go to war, he and those wanting war must know better than do the 200+ million Americans that are against military intervention in Syria and continued on with the pro-war opening remarks he came prepared to make.
The activists remained seated, taking turns showing their red-painted hands for almost two hours, at which time they got up and filed out the hearing, wearing and holding signs that read “US out of Syria” and “John Kerry diplomacy not war” and “no U.S. military intervention in Syria.”
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