Mar 7, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Pro-Palestinian protestors gather near Capitol ahead of Biden State of the Union

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with his Competition Council in the State Dining Room of the White House on March 5, 2024 in Washington, DC. Biden announced new economic measures during the meeting

President Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on March 5 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Pro-Palestinian protesters convened near the Capitol on Thursday, before President Biden was set to depart the White House for his State of the Union address.

Why it matters: The address, set to begin at 9 p.m. ET, began almost 30 minutes late, and Biden's motorcade took an alternative route to avoid the protesters, according to White House pool reporters.

  • "The route did not take us by any large protest groups," the pool said.

The big picture: Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas war has become a flashpoint and progressive Democrats have repeatedly pressed the president to do more to stop the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and call for an enduring ceasefire.

Go deeper: Progressives want much more from Biden on Gaza

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