Protestors swarmed a Bill Clinton presidential library event in Little Rock, Arkansas thinking they could speak to the former president about a ceasefire in the Middle East.
The small group of about two dozen pro-Palestinian demonstrators converged on the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Little Rock and eventually made their way inside, according to KATV.
But the effort to get to the Democrat, who twice served as Arkansas governor before becoming president, was unsuccessful as Clinton was not at the event due to an “emergency.”
An official from the Clinton Presidential Library confirmed that he would not be there but seconds into a recorded message from the former president, protesters unleashed their disruption with chants of “ceasefire,” according to KATV.
They interrupted the event and made their way around the room before security removed them from the event and the building.
“I think his staff and everybody that is involved with the library will very much tell the story of when a group of protestors disrupted his speech,” one demonstrator, identified as Stephanie Gray told KATV.
Protestors in downtown @CityLittleRock, #Arkansas demanding a renewed ceasefire in the #MiddleEast made their way inside the William J. @ClintonCenter on Friday hoping to speak to former President @BillClinton. https://t.co/UN31APD6hB | #arnews #arpx pic.twitter.com/Zh31K9ZX1h
— KATV News (@KATVNews) December 2, 2023
“I think that it was very moving to see so many people visibly shocked, because I think especially in Arkansas, we can get complacent about this isn’t something happening here, this isn’t important to us here,” Gray said. “I think we’re able to very much so, we are gonna put it in your face and make you pay attention.”
Hadeel Abuelhaja, a Palestinian protestor, told KATV, “We know that President Clinton has a good history of making relationships better between Israel and Palestine in the past.”
“Because of his relationship with Mandela and how he made things better for South Africa, so we are hoping that he can step up, he can say a word and pick a side,” she added, referring to the first president of South Africa who shared a close friendship with Clinton.
The protester expressed to the outlet the personal effect of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
“I text my cousins almost every single night to double-check that they are safe and that they’re ok,” she said.
“Sometimes I don’t hear an answer immediately and I’m thinking they’re definitely dead. I already have five guys from my family that have been killed in the West Bank and not in Gaza,” she added.
According to Abuelhaja, the group has been protesting the conflict every Saturday for seven weeks and they have every intention of continuing until there is a permanent ceasefire.
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