Several House Democratic lawmakers, including party leaders, were present for an event in the building and were evacuated.
Hill’s police force is on edge after recent assaults on lawmakers, with law enforcement particularly sensitive to keeping entrances to buildings open following the Jan. 6 riots. Washington DC police helped respond to protests but referred all questions to Capitol Police.
representative Sean Casten (D-Ill.) said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that blocking entrances put protesters and others in danger. He was one of the lawmakers present at the fundraiser.
“We were rescued by armed officers who did not know the demonstrators’ intentions; they only knew that the members of Congress were inside, that they could not get out, and that the demonstrators would not let the police through. Forcing police to guess intent is irresponsible and dangerous,” he said.
Another lawmaker who was in the building, Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.), condemned the violence.
“The right to peacefully protest and assemble is protected by the Constitution,” she said in a statement. “But protests like this – in which police orders to leave private property were ignored, members of Congress were prevented from leaving, and six police officers were injured – cannot be called peaceful . “
Office buildings were placed in confinement during the incident. In a message posted onthe senator. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) blamed “these pro-Hamas insurgents” for the disruptions and called on the Biden administration to treat the incident the same way it did the “January 6 cases.”
Speaker Mike Johnson, in a statement Thursday, condemned what it called “this vile display of anti-Semitism.” Other Republicans, including representatives from Florida. Kat Cammack And Anna Paulina Lunasaid they had been placed on lockdown due to the protests.
“I’m with my baby at my desk and the Capitol offices were just closed because of these clowns,” Luna wrote. “Crazy jobs.”
Eva Borgwardt, a spokeswoman for IfNotNow, one of the groups involved in the protest, disputed police and lawmakers’ claims of a violent protest and called on lawmakers to “apologize and withdraw their dangerous and hurtful statements.”
“As protesters engaged in a moral act of nonviolent civil disobedience outside the building, police charged and attacked the protesters without giving them any warning or orders to disperse. The police pepper-sprayed us, pulling them by the hair and throwing them down the stairs, causing more than 90 protesters to be injured,” Borgwardt said.
The protests took place just a few years after a still-unknown suspect placed a pipe bomb outside the DNC and Republican National Committee ahead of the events of January 6, 2021.
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