Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Pro-Palestinian Protesters Running Onto Field During Congressional Baseball Game -- It Was Environmental Group

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Pro-Palestinian Protesters Running Onto Field During Congressional Baseball Game -- It Was Environmental Group Eco-Activists

Does a social media video show pro-Palestinian protesters running onto the field during the annual Congressional Baseball Game on June 12, 2024? No, that's not true: A small group of demonstrators did storm the field at Nationals Park, interrupting the congressional game, but they were not pro-Palestinian protesters as a viral post on X claimed. Instead, they were environmental activists representing a group called Climate Defiance.

The claim appeared in a post and video (archived here) published on X, formerly Twitter, by Laura Loomer on June 12, 2024. It opened:

BREAKING: Pro-HAMAS protesters just stormed the field at @Nationals Park in Washington DC during the Congressional baseball game while members of Congress were on the field.

@CapitolPolice had to escort the HAMAS supporters off the field. @LoomerUnleashed caught it on camera.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu Jun 12 14:58:08 2024 UTC)

U.S. Capitol Police

Two different groups of protesters interrupted the charity ballgame that's been held every year since 1909. The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) provided details in a tweet chain (archived here) on its official X account on June 13, 2024. The three posts said:

  • We are proud of our officers who are working to keep everyone safe during tonight's Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. (1/3)
  • 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. (2/3)
  • When eight people tried to protest on the field, our officers quickly stopped them and arrested them. The eight people are being charged with federal charges - Interference with a Member of the U.S. Capitol Police - 2 U.S.C. §1966. (3/3)

The USCP public information office declined to provide details on those who took part in the demonstrations. In a June 13, 2024, email to Lead Stories, the USCP said:

We are a federal law enforcement agency charged with protecting the Members of Congress. They attempted to interfere with that mission.

We here in the public information office are not sure what their cause was, and we tend not to amplify causes for protesters. Our focus is on enforcing the law.

Climate Defiance

An environmental group called Climate Defiance took credit for storming the field and interrupting the game. The eco-protesters posted videos (archived here) to their X account on June 12, 2024. They're embedded below:

Climate Defiance, which identifies itself on X as a "youth-led group using direct action to resist fossil fuels," promoted its plans to disrupt the game in the days leading up to the event. Here's a screenshot of the group's website on the morning of June 13, 2024 -- the morning after the game -- before the pop-up window was taken down later that same day:

chrome_HwPKO6CH3c Cropped.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu Jun 12 15:04:31 2024 UTC)

The group also promoted its plans on X in a post (archived here) from June 11, 2024:

Pro-Palestinian protesters

ABC News also reported that there were pro-Palestinian protesters at the game, but they were not involved in storming the field. The ABC story said:

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.

The report said that security promptly removed the protesters.

Read more

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the Hamas-Israel war that began on October 7, 2023, can be found here. Other Lead Stories fact checks about climate change are here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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