House Dems Whisked Out of DNC HQ Amid Ceasefire Protest

USCP says 6 officers were injured by 'violent' protesters; protesters say police attacked them
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2023 7:24 AM CST
War Protest at DNC's HQ Leads to Cop Clashes, Evacuation
Demonstrators stand near Democratic National Committee headquarters on Wednesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

A protest Wednesday outside DC's Democratic National Committee headquarters in favor of a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war led to an evacuation of House Democrats sheltered there, as well as violent clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement. US Capitol Police and DC's Metropolitan Police were on the scene to wrangle what the USCP says were around 150 protesters "illegally and violently protesting in the area of Canal Street and Ivy Street." In a later statement, the USCP noted that a half-dozen police officers had to be treated for injuries, which ran the gamut from "minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched."

Police say at least one arrest was made, for assault on an officer. CNN notes that the "illegally and violently protesting" part of the USCP's statement received pushback from the activists on the scene. In videos cited by the Hill, some of the scuffles between protesters and police can be seen, with cops in one clip shown trying to pull demonstrators away from the doors they were blocking. The DNC building was put on temporary lockdown while all this was going on, with no one allowed to enter.

Barricaded inside when the protest started were about 10 Democratic House members, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, and No. 3 Dem Pete Aguilar, a source tells CNN. California Rep. Brad Sherman was also among those evacuated, and he slammed the demonstrators online afterward. "Apparently, these pro-#Hamas demonstrators want #Republicans to prevail in the next Congressional election," he lashed out online, accusing protesters of "attempting to break into the building."

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The AP notes that the demonstrators—said to come from various groups, including If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace—insisted that wasn't the case. "Hundreds of peaceful anti-war activists came to the DNC to call for an end to bombs and violence in order to save Palestinian and Israeli lives. They were met with brutal assaults by the police," Beth Miller of Jewish Voice for Peace said in a statement, per CNN. (More Democratic National Committee stories.)

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