Protesters bruise GOP lawmaker’s wrist, his office says
Protesters tried to “forcibly enter” the Washington office of Republican Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland on Tuesday in an incident that bruised the lawmaker’s wrist, according to a spokeswoman for his office.
“Today, recreational marijuana legalization protesters attempted to forcibly enter the office of Congressman Andy Harris after he entered through a private door, bruising his wrist as they tried to force the door open,” Julia Nista, a Harris spokeswoman, told CNN.
Harris released a statement denouncing the actions of the demonstrators and referring to what took place as an “aggression.”
“Today’s aggression by protesters who disagree with my position on the legalization of recreational marijuana demonstrates the problem with political discourse today,” he said in the statement.
“We all must agree to have a civilized debate when disagreement occurs. My parents fled communist Eastern Europe where people with different political opinions were harassed and punished, and it has no place in America,” Harris added.
Taking aim at Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters without mentioning her by name, the GOP lawmaker said: “I reject the recent comments of one of my House colleagues who encouraged harassment of political opponents, saying ‘You get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.'”
In June, Waters urged people to publicly confront members of the Trump administration in response to the “zero tolerance” policy that led to the separation of immigrant families at the US-Mexico border.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them,” Waters said in remarks captured on video.
Waters did not call for physical harm to administration officials, a point she has repeated several times since coming under criticism for her remarks.
“I believe in peaceful, very peaceful protests,” she told reporters on Capitol Hill in June. “I have not called for the harm of anybody. This President has lied again when he’s saying that I’ve called for harm.”
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican who was shot during a congressional baseball team practice, condemned the incident.
“This is outrageous. I’m glad @RepAndyHarrisMD is okay. Assaulting anyone because you disagree with them is NEVER acceptable,” he tweeted.