WASHINGTON – Tens of thousands marched on Freedom Plaza on Saturday calling for President Biden to support a ceasefire in Gaza and halt support for Israel amidst the climbing death toll in the region.

Organized by the American Muslim Task Force for Palestine, in partnership with the ANSWER Coalition, the event began with several speeches from organizers and journalists with first-hand experience of the conflict. Some speakers discussed the experiences of family members and friends dying from the conflict. 

Wael Dahdouh, a veteran journalist for Al Jazeera covering the conflict in Gaza, made a video appearance and described the horrors he has endured since the war began. “We have lost family, we have lost children, we have lost friends, we have lost our offices, we have lost our homes, we have lost shelter, and we live homeless,” he said. Dahdouh has reportedly lost several family members, including his wife, two sons, a daughter, and a grandson, to Israeli airstrikes.

It has been more than 100 days since October 7th, when the U.S.-recognized terror organization Hamas massacred over 1200 Israeli civilians and took 240 hostages, according to the Israeli Defense Forces. Tens of thousands have reportedly been killed in Gaza since the attack, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. 

The protesters marched on a pre-determined route, stopping at the White House, where many remained for several hours. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “Wake him (Joe Biden) up,” and “Long live the intifada” were some of the chants heard on Pennsylvania Avenue. Some protesters engaged in escalations with the Secret Service and local law enforcement by attempting to breach the external security fence, throwing bottles toward officers, and engaging in verbal exchanges, chanting “baby killers” and comparing them to members of the Klu Klux Klan. The Secret Service reportedly issued a relocation of some White House staffers and media members.

Here are images from the protest:

The march began in Freedom Plaza near the Capitol complex. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

People gathered with flags as well as custom signs in support of Palestinians. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

During the speeches, some participants prayed toward Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

People of all ages attended Saturday’s demonstration, including young children and infants. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

A protester holds a Palestinian flag as the march begins south of the White House. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

A protester ignites a smoke grenade and chants alongside other participants.(Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

Many protesters remained outside the White House hours after the official protest ended. The Secret Service deployed additional security fencing and officers in riot gear. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

A projector shows an image of President Biden and the words “Genocide Joe” on a nearby building. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

The protest went into the evening, as Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square were packed with protesters. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

A participant wears a “stop bombing Gaza” flag outside the White House. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

Many of the statues in Lafayette Square were vandalized with graffiti insulting and criticizing Biden. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

Secret Service officers surround fake babies placed at the White House to illustrate the devastating death toll of the conflict. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)

Most protesters left at around 8 p.m., leaving behind flags, signs, and other public displays. (Jonah Elkowitz/MNS)