Breaking News
More () »

San Antonio activist says 'time stopped' as D.C. police arrested her during protest

Capitol Police charged Kimiya Factory with Civil Disobedience after she and others refused to stop singing inside U.S. Senate offices Thursday.

SAN ANTONIO — Capitol police arrested San Antonio activist Kimiya Factory and eight others, including a member of Congress, during a peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. Thursday. 

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, led roughly 20 people through the Senate office building to raise awareness about the 'For the People Act.' The resolution would prevent states like Texas from passing tighter voting laws. 

"It felt like time stopped," Factory said in an interview with KENS 5. "Officials were coming out of their offices, staring down at us."

The group chanted in the office building lobby for several minutes before police arrested them. Officers issued three warnings before handcuffing the demonstrators. 

"In that moment, I felt the same way that my ancestors felt when they had to endure that," Factory said. "Not for one moment did I doubt what I was doing. Not for one moment did I regret what I did." 

Protestors often demonstrated inside government office buildings prior to the pandemic. 

Factory says she spent three hours in jail with Beatty, the Black Caucus chair. National advocacy organizations like the NAACP bailed them out. 

Police charged the protestors with Civil Disobedience, a misdemeanor often used to prevent crowds from obstructing walkways. Factory says it's her first offense, but added she's eager to continue making "good trouble."

"Black women, especially black and (transgendered) women, are the most marginalized people in this country," she said. "For Texas to lead the way and say, 'Although we're the hardest state to vote in, we still see a future for our voters' - that's beautiful."

Vice President Kamala Harris invited some of the women police arrested to discuss the legislation at the White House Friday. Factory says she could not go because she would have missed her flight home, but added that she's proud her demonstration drew Harris's attention. 

"We knew very well what we were getting into," she said. "We wanted (the vice president) to hear us, and in my opinion, she should've heard us sooner."

Factory and others lobbied lawmakers to end the filibuster, a Senate rule that prevents Democrats from passing legislation without Republican support. 

"We took the mic," she said. "We didn't have time to wait." 

Before You Leave, Check This Out