Seven protesters were arrested Wednesday evening after staging a sit-in at U.S. Rep. Jared Golden’s Bangor office.
Lawrence Reichard, 65, of Belfast; Robert Shetterly, 76, of Brooksville; Dudley Hendrick, 82, of Deer Isle; Jamila Levasseur, 68, of Waldo; Kristen Salvatore, 66, of Penobscot; Russell Wray, 68, of Hancock; and Stephen Benson, 78, of Surry have been charged with criminal trespassing, according to Sgt. Jason McAmbley, a spokesperson for the Bangor Police Department.
The seven protesters gathered inside Golden’s State Street office, and when they refused to leave, Bangor police officers were summoned about 5 p.m., McAmbley said Thursday morning.
“When police arrived, the protesters made it clear they were prepared to go to jail. A dispersal order was read to the group, explaining they would be arrested and go to jail for criminal trespass if they didn’t leave,” McAmbley said.
The seven protesters were arrested and taken to Penobscot County Jail. They have been released on bail.
The protesters were calling for a cease-fire and deescalation of violence in Gaza, where the Israeli military is fighting the militant group Hamas following a surprise attack on Oct. 7. The conflict has displaced more than two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, and the slow trickle of aid into the besieged territory has prompted calls for a humanitarian pause amid rising international concerns, according to the Associated Press.
Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, recently drew disapproval from critics of Israel’s war in Gaza when he joined 21 other Democrats in a House vote Tuesday to censure Democratic U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — the only Palestinian American in Congress and a co-sponsor of HR 786 — for comments she made about the war.
Correction: An earlier version of this report misstated the town where Lawrence Reichard lives.