Lawmakers were evacuated from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters Wednesday night after protesters clashed with police outside the building.
A handful of Democrats revealed on social media that they were among the lawmakers evacuated from the building on Wednesday night after protests erupted outside. Capitol Police said that its officers were responding to about 150 people who were “illegally and violently protesting” near the building at about 8:30pm on Wednesday night.
The law enforcement agency also noted it evacuated all members, including Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Sean Casten (D-Ill.).
“Was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building. Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely,” Sherman wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Casten said that protesters had surrounded the building, blocking all exits and entrances.
“We were rescued by armed officers who did not know the protestors’ intent; they knew only that Members of Congress were inside, could not leave and that protestors would not let police through,” Casten wrote on X. “Forcing police to guess intent is irresponsible and dangerous.”
“I am grateful for the USCP’s professionalism and that all were safely evacuated. I’m also keenly aware that it could have been much worse. Americans have a right to assemble and protest. But PLEASE do so at a safe distance and respect local police orders,” he continued.
Videos posted to social media suggest the protesters were calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Additional videos show a large number of officers clashing with protesters in varying degrees of intensity. Some of the protesters appeared to have linked arms outside of the building.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Capitol Police said the “large group of illegal protesters” were cleared out, but that its officers would remain on the scene. Six officers were being treated for injuries “ranging from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched” and one person was arrested for an assault on an officer, according to Capitol Police’s latest update.
The demonstrations also prompted the Capitol to be placed on lockdown Wednesday night, prohibiting people from entering the building. People were allowed to move inside the buildings and exit them, according to a Capitol Police alert. The restrictions were lifted at about 10 p.m.
House Republicans also took to social media to weigh in 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 caused all House Office Buildings to be placed on lockdown due to rioting at the Democratic National Committee. I am thankful for the brave men and women of the United States Capitol Police and am praying for their safety,” Barr posted on X.
“The House Office Buildings in D.C. are on full lockdown due to violent anti-Israel rioters at the Democratic National Committee building near the Capitol,” Plufger wrote on X. “I’m urging all to go home or peacefully protest. Praying for the safety of our brave Capitol Police officers.”
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