Cotton Urges Citizens to Forcibly Confront Pro-Palestinian Protesters

Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, on Monday urged people whose routes were blocked by pro-Palestinian protesters to “take matters into your own hands” and confront the offenders, endorsing the use of physical force against peaceful demonstrators.

In a series of social media posts after protesters shut down traffic in cities across the country including major roads in Oakland, Calif., the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and near O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Mr. Cotton called those responsible “pro-Hamas” and “criminals.”

He also shared a clip of himself during a recent interview in which he said that if protesters had disrupted public roads in his home state of Arkansas, they would have been met with force from citizens.

“Let’s just say I think there would be a lot of very wet criminals that would have been tossed overboard — not by law enforcement, but by the people whose road they are blocking,” he told Fox News in the interview. “If they glued their hands to their car or pavement, it’d probably be pretty painful to have their skin ripped off.”

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Cotton posted a video showing a group of men forcibly removing protesters in orange vests from a roadway that appeared to be outside of the United States. In the clip, one man is shown roughly dragging a protester off the road by his feet.

“How it should be done,” Mr. Cotton wrote.

Dozens of demonstrators who caused the traffic jam at the Golden Gate Bridge were ultimately arrested on Monday. Law enforcement officials said that is how the process is supposed to work, and that people should not take matters into their own hands.

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