Lawmakers were evacuated from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters Wednesday evening after clashes between protesters and police outside the building.
A handful of Democrats revealed on social media that they were among the lawmakers evacuated from the building Wednesday evening after protests broke out outside. Capitol Police said their officers were responding to about 150 people who were “illegally and violently protesting” near the building around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Law enforcement also said they had evacuated all members, including Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Sean Casten (D-Illinois).
“He was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terror and anti-Israel protesters became violent, pepper-spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building. I thank the police officers who arrested them and who helped me and my colleagues get out safely,” Sherman wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Casten said protesters surrounded the building, blocking all exits and entrances.
“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,” Casten wrote on X. “Forcing police to guess intent is irresponsible and dangerous. »
“I am grateful for the professionalism of the USCP and that everyone was evacuated safely. I am also fully aware that it could have been much worse. Americans have the right to assemble and protest. But PLEASE do it at a safe distance and follow the orders of local police,” he continued.
Videos posted on social media suggest the protesters were calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. Additional videos show a large number of officers clashes with demonstrators at varying degrees of intensity. Some protesters appeared to have shaken hands outside the building.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Capitol Police said The “large group of illegal protesters” was evacuated, but its officers reportedly remained at the scene. Six officers were being treated for injuries “ranging from minor cuts to pepper spraying to punches” and one person was arrested for assault on a police officer, according to Capitol Police. Last update.
The protests also led to a lockdown of the Capitol on Wednesday evening, barring people from entering the building. People were allowed to move in and out of buildings, according to an alert from Capitol Police. Restrictions were lifted around 10 p.m.
House Republicans also took to social media to offer their thoughts on the incident. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) said her husband and newborn were in her Capitol office when the restrictions were enacted “because of these uncontrolled protesters.”
Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and August Pfluger (R-Texas) also commented on the Capitol lockdown.
“Violent, anti-Semitic protesters have shut down all House office buildings due to riots at the Democratic National Committee. I am grateful to the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police and pray for their safety,” Barr said. posted on X.
“The House of Representatives office buildings in Washington are completely closed due to violent anti-Israel rioters at the Democratic National Committee building near the Capitol,” Plufger written the. “I urge everyone to go home or protest peacefully. Let us pray for the safety of our courageous Capitol Police officers.
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