At least six police officers are wounded in pro-Palestinian demonstrations outside the national headquarters of the Democratic Party in a melee that forced a lockdown of nearby offices of the US Congress.
The demonstrations are led by the anti-Zionist If Not Now and Jewish Voice for Peace groups. The protesters are calling for a ceasefire and an end to Israel’s operations on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, launched in the wake of the deadly October 7 assault on southern Israel that killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians and saw some 240 hostages taken to Gaza.
“Our officers are working to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting” near the party offices, the US Capitol Police say in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
“Officers are making arrests.”
Police escorted legislators who were at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices at the time out of the building to safety.
Six police officers were treated for injuries “ranging from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched,” Capitol Police post later in the evening after protesters were cleared out.
“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,” California lawmaker Brad Sherman posts on X.
“Thankful to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely,” writes Sherman, a Democrat.