8 climate protesters arrested during Congressional Baseball Game: Police

The annual baseball game was met with pro-Palestinian and climate protesters.

Two different groups of protesters interrupted the Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday evening -- the annual charity game in which Republicans walloped Democrats for the fourth year in a row, 31 to 11.

Eight climate protesters were arrested on Wednesday after being tackled on the field during the Congressional Baseball Game, U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement.

The self-described "youth-led group," Climate Defiance, took credit for the protest and shared videos on X of protesters rushing the field, calling the "Chevron-sponsored" game "unconscionable."

Anti-fossil fuel protesters invade the field at the Congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2024."
ABC News

During the second inning, over half a dozen protesters hopped the fence to the field, wearing shirts stating, "END FOSSIL FUELS."

Chants from the crowd of "USA!" drowned out the protesters.

"The eight people are being charged with federal charges - Interference with a Member of the U.S. Capitol Police," authorities said in a statement.

Anti-fossil fuel protesters invade the field at the Congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2024.
ABC News

The group was protesting outside of the stadium prior to the game's start and had been vocal for days leading up to the game about the planned protest.

"Before the charity game, we were aware that some people planned to possibly protest. This was discussed during our planning meetings and put in our comprehensive action plan to ensure we had plenty of resources to swiftly respond," Capitol police said in a statement on X.

Before the first pitch of the game had even been thrown, shouts rang out in the stands as roughly a dozen pro-Palestinian protesters began a demonstration opposing the U.S. government's support of Israel, which is more than eight months into the war with Hamas in Gaza.

The demonstration, which began during the colors presentation, continued into the singing of the national anthem, prompting loud counter-chants of "USA" that originated in the Republican fan section before spreading throughout the stadium.

Pro-Palestinian protesters hold up banners at the Congressional baseball game in Washington, D.C., on June 12, 2024.
ABC News

As they unfurled posters and Palestinian flags, security promptly removed the protesters, several of whom were clad in keffiyehs, the traditional Palestinian scarves that have become icons of the movement.

In an interview given through an exterior fence of the stadium, one of the protesters spoke with ABC News, stating, "We're here to shame Congress for participating and sponsoring and funding a genocide."

The Congressional Baseball Game is a bipartisan tradition dating back to 1909, with proceeds supporting D.C.-area charities. The annual game has been under threat before. In 2017, at a practice for Republican lawmakers, then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner were shot.

ABC News' Beatrice Peterson, Brittany Shepherd, Tommy Barone and Jacob Steinberg contributed to this report.

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