Protestors Clash Outside DNC Headquarters
Violent clashes erupted outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening as pro-Palestinian demonstrators called for an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the scene and were met with aggressive and illegal protesting.
According to USCP, approximately 150 protesters gathered outside the DNC building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, with videos showing the tense standoff between officers and demonstrators. The protesters, who claimed to number around 300, were heard shouting "Ceasefire Now!" as they demanded an immediate end to the violence in the Middle East.
However, what began as a peaceful demonstration quickly turned violent as some protesters became aggressive toward law enforcement, resulting in six officers being injured. USCP reported that the injuries ranged from minor cuts and pepper spray burns to being punched by protesters. MPD also reported that at least 50 police cruisers were present at the scene.
Pro-Palestine Protester: “We’re outside of the Democratic Party headquarters because this party claims to be on the side of life, and peace, and equality, and we want them to live up to their values and oppose this horrific war and call for a ceasefire”pic.twitter.com/pJhzaJDDQP
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 16, 2023
Videos circulating on social media showed protesters shoving officers and attempting to break through metal barricades at the DNC headquarters. The police were seen forcefully removing individuals from the scene, and it is estimated that several protesters were arrested during the evening's events.
The group of protesters included members of If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace, who have been organizing other demonstrations in Washington D.C. since Hamas' unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7. Many of the protesters were wearing black shirts with the words, "Cease Fire Now," as they called for an immediate end to the violence.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, one pro-Palestinian protester claimed that they were peacefully protesting and that it was the officers who were acting violently. "We were peacefully saying, 'ceasefire now,' and the cops violently pushed us to the ground, threw us to the ground," the protester, identified only as Olivia, stated. "The violence happening around the world is happening in our backyard."
Several lawmakers, including Rep. Brad Sherman and Rep. Sean Casten, were present at the DNC headquarters and were evacuated to safety by police as the situation turned chaotic and dangerous. Sherman later took to social media to criticize the protesters and their alleged ties to Hamas, writing, "Apparently, these pro-Hamas demonstrators want Republicans to prevail in the next Congressional election."
I am on Capitol Hill right now and it’s on lockdown. No getting in or out of our offices. We have officers that were pepper sprayed by pro-Hamas protestors with a lot of people attempting to break into the Democratic HQ. Anyone else notice how violent the so-called “ceasefire”… pic.twitter.com/UbtMmLe7Ei
— Kat Cammack (@Kat_Cammack) November 16, 2023
Former Michigan Representative and current Senate candidate Peter Meijer also weighed in on the protests, pointing out the stark contrast between Tuesday's "March for Israel" event, which saw a quarter of a million peaceful supporters, and the chaos and violence that ensued outside the DNC headquarters.
As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, the protests in Washington D.C. serve as a reminder of the widespread impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Lawmakers and public figures are also calling for accountability and for the protesters to face the full extent of the law for their violent actions. It remains to be seen how the situation will continue to unfold in the coming days, but one thing is certain: the call for a ceasefire in the Middle East has reached the U.S. capital and is demanding to be heard.