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Houston police on Monday arrested eight people for trespassing outside the Texas home of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, according to authorities.
Those arrested were part of a larger group of about 60 to 70 people protesting about climate change in front of his private residence, police said. They arrived around 11 a.m.
“The large majority of the group are extremely peaceful out there expressing the First Amendment rights (to) protest against climate change,” Assistant Police Chief Ban Tien said in a video. “Unfortunately, there was a small group who [was] actually committing trespassing into private property in front of the senator’s residence.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Tuesday, March 23, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)
Authorities gave multiple warnings to the group, along with “ample amount of opportunities” for them to stay on the public sidewalk and away from the property, but they refused, Tien added.
“Roughly eight individuals still refused to leave and we finally gave one final warning,” Tien said. “We explained to them the fact that they were violating a trespassing law. They acknowledged they understood and they chose to be arrested.”
Cruz’s office didn’t immediately respond to a late-night request for comment from Fox News.
Texas Tribune reporter Erin Douglas tweeted that the protesters were part of the Sunrise Movement, a youth movement to stop climate change, according to its website. The group had just finished a 400-mile march from New Orleans to Houston on Monday, she wrote.
Douglas added they gathered outside Cruz’s home to demand President Biden stop negotiations with the GOP and pass Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “civilian climate corps plan.”
Officers spent over an hour negotiating with the protesters to come to a “peaceful resolution,” before the arrests were made, Tien noted.
“I just want to take a moment to remind everyone the Houston Police Department supports First Amendment rights and supports public assembly, but it has to be done in a safe manner,” he said. “And it has to be done within the confines and within the scope of the laws.”
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