WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Four people were arrested by United States Capitol Police and charged with disorderly conduct after pouring human ashes on the front steps of the Russell Senate Office Building on Wednesday, November 17.
The ashes belonged to the loved ones of those arrested. The remains were scattered as part of a rally that was demanding the Senate pass Bill 2297 as an amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act.
The bill is formally called The International Pandemic Preparedness and COVID Response Act of 2021. Among other things, it would provide a way for the world to be vaccinated against the virus, and help ensure that another pandemic does not happen.
Paul Davis, the Police Director for Right to Health Action, explained, “This is the most important global health bill in history, with a side helping of protecting the world against climate change.”
The group that showed up for the rally and march to the Senate was filled with COVID-19 survivors and those who lost loved ones to the virus.
As they scattered their family’s ashes on the steps, the crowd chanted, “Bringing the dead to your door! We won’t take it anymore!” Paul Davis added, “We need action to stop this, or people keep dying. That’s why people brought the ashes of the dead to the Senate.”
People from across the country came for the rally. Rosie Davis, who is the founder of the Yellow Heart Memorial, came from Texas.
She said, “This pandemic is not just an American problem. It’s a global problem, and unless we have vaccines worldwide, that’s the only way this is going to end.”
The group has held multiple rallies, and some felt that scattering the ashes was the last resort to get lawmakers’ attention.
Rosie Davis said, “Unfortunately, it takes actions like that in order for them to see that we have a community of people who are suffering.”
Paul Davis added, “We have had thousands of meetings. We have had demonstrations. We have had rallies. We have asked nicely. Right now, what we are protesting is inaction. We have to get this bill across the finish line.”
Shortly after the ashes were poured out, the block was taped off by U.S. Capitol Police.
Editor’s note: the two Davis’s are unrelated.