A New York assemblyman was among a group of pro-Israel demonstrators who were arrested while protesting the Iranian nuclear deal outside the Manhattan office of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Thursday.
The protest, organized by Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D.), called on Schumer to break with the White House and reject the nuclear agreement. Schumer has yet to take a clear stance on the deal, but many believe his position could influence others in his party.
Police arrested a handful of demonstrators, most of whom appeared to be senior citizens, for disorderly conduct after around a dozen of them formed a chain outside the entrance of Schumer’s office building, shouting "Kill the deal!"
"I am ordering you to disperse," said one officer on a loudspeaker. "If you do so voluntarily, no charges will be placed against you."
The protesters chanted, "Senator Schumer, do the right thing!" as police led them away from the building in handcuffs.
These protestors were part of a larger group that had gathered outside Schumer’s office earlier on Thursday, waving signs urging the senator to vote against the deal.
Shani Hikind, the wife of Assemblyman Hikind, participated in the protest but was not one of the demonstrators arrested. She said that unless Schumer publicly rejects the deal, "he’s going to lose a tremendous amount of support not only in New York, but throughout the United States."
"The voters will do what the voters will do for somebody who does not represent them in the right way for this country," she said.
Another protester, Joe Lazar, said he believed there would be political fallout for Schumer if he refused to break with the White House.
"The Republicans, and maybe even another Democratic candidate, will come out against him and run against him," said Lazar. "And I think he could lose. There are enough people that are upset with this deal."
Thursday’s protest outside Schumer’s office followed a much larger demonstration in Times Square on Wednesday evening. Organizers placed the crowd size at 10,000 at the event, which featured speeches from the state’s former governor George Pataki, the author and law professor Alan Dershowitz and Rep. Trent Franks (R., Ariz.).
That protest also took aim at Schumer, with Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, one of its organizers, telling the crowd that if Schumer did not take a stance against the deal "we will remember."
"Remember, folks, New Yorkers get pretty bored with their elected leaders," said Wiesenfeld. "If you don’t do it, Chuck, we’ll be plenty bored. We’ll throw you the hell out."
A spokesperson for Schumer did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the arrests or his position on the nuclear deal.