Far-right activist handcuffs herself to Twitter office to protest being banned

Far-right activist Laura Loomer on Thursday handcuffed herself to Twitter's New York City office to protest being banned from the platform last week.

Loomer, who was permanently suspended after posting several anti-Islam tweets, yelled into a megaphone about conservative censorship as New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and Twitter employees streamed in and out of the door beside the one she handcuffed herself to.

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"You know, Twitter isn't the only thing for media," one officer told her.

An NYPD spokesman told The Hill one hour into the protest that the incident was "under investigation," as a growing number of officers came to the scene.

Police after more than an hour and a half told Loomer that Twitter did not intend to press charges, so she could stay in that position for as long as she wanted.

The NYPD told The Hill that she was not arrested because "there was no complainant."  

At one point, several officers approached Loomer and told her she would be arrested if she did not remove the handcuffs, which she declined to do.

"We have notified the relevant authorities who are responding," Twitter spokeswoman Jen Santamaria wrote in an email to The Hill. "The account holder was suspended for violating our policies."

For most of the protest, Loomer railed against Twitter's alleged "bias" against and "silencing" of conservatives, a claim promoted by many Republicans with little evidence.

"We apply the Twitter Rules impartially and not based on ideology," Santamaria wrote. 

Loomer repeatedly called Twitter anti-Semitic for banning her over tweets criticizing Islam.  

At the beginning of the protest, a man came out of the Twitter office to take down two signs Loomer had hung up. 

One of the posters depicted a tweet from controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, which compared Jewish people to "termites," with the caption "not banned."

The other poster had a screenshot of a tweet from Loomer in which she referred to Rep.-elect Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens MORE (D-Minn.) as "pro-Sharia" and "anti-Jewish," with the caption "banned." 

"Twitter is essentially upholding Sharia when they decide to ban me for posting facts about Islam," Loomer yelled into a megaphone. "I’m willing to go to jail to fight for my country, to fight for the rights of the millions of conservatives around the world that are being censored and controlled by people in this building." 

The NYPD put up barricades around the office as Loomer's protest went on and more police cars arrived on the scene. 

Loomer claims she was suspended over the tweet about Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

"Isn’t it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate ‘women, LGBTQ, and minorities’ is a picture of Ilhan Omar?" Loomer wrote in the tweet. "Ilhan is pro Sharia Ilhan is pro-FGM Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish." 

Like any other user, Loomer has the ability to appeal permanent suspensions.

Loomer’s Twitter account, which had more than 250,000 followers, featured several remarks attacking Muslims before being taken down.

The far-right internet figure has interrupted multiple political events around D.C. in protest, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee's hearing on alleged anti-conservative bias with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over the summer. 

Loomer's interruption at the hearing was drowned out by lawmakers' laughter and Rep. Billy LongWilliam (Billy) H. LongT-Mobile merger poses more questions than answers GOP pushes back on net neutrality bill at testy hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers wait for Trump's next move on border deal MORE (R-Mo.), who mocked an auctioneer's voice in response to Loomer before she was removed by security.