(USNewsMag.com) – On Nov. 15, protesters demanding a ceasefire in Gaza clashed with U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Washington, D.C.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Capitol Police said while “hundreds of peaceful protests” have been handled by the Capitol Police, this protest “was not peaceful.” The protesters “failed to obey our lawful orders” to leave the area near the DNC building as “members of Congress were in the building.”
The protesters blocked the front entrance to the building by linking arms. According to the Capitol Police, protesters began moving dumpsters to block the exits of the building, picking up bike racks, and pepper-spraying officers. The officers then cleared the protesters from the area. The lawmakers who were inside the DNC building when the protest began were then evacuated from the area by officers. Illinois Rep. Sean Casten stated that the lawmakers were evacuated from the building “by armed officers” after “all modes of ingress and egress” had been blocked by protesters. Six officers suffered injuries during the protest.
The three advocacy groups, the Democratic Socialists of America, IfNotNow, and Jewish Voice for Peace, organized the protest. The organizers rejected the allegation that the protesters were violent. The protesters put out candles for Palestinians killed during Israel’s bombardment and called for a ceasefire, according to a social media post by Jewish Voice for Peace, which advocates for Palestinian independence.
House Democratic leaders Katherine Clark, Hakeem Jeffries, and Pete Aguilar were among those in the DNC building during the protest. In a statement, the lawmakers said that the behavior of some of the protesters “exceeded a peaceful demonstration.”
House Speaker and Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson called the protesters’ actions a “vile display of antisemitism.”
One arrest was made during the protest. A Woodbridge, New York, resident, Ruben Arthur Camacho, 24, was arrested for assaulting a police officer. Camacho was seen both slamming an officer into a garage door as well as punching a female officer in the face.
Copyright 2023, USNewsMag.com