Washington: Lawmakers evacuated from building due to Gaza protests

Clashes during protest: Police evacuate MPs from US Democratic headquarters

Members of the Capitol Police try to break up a blockade of the US Democratic headquarters in Washington by demonstrators

© Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

A demonstration calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East outside the US Democratic headquarters has led to the evacuation of several senior politicians from the building in Washington.

In Washington is centered around the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). national organizing body of the USDemocrats, clashes between police and demonstrators. About 150 people protested “illegally and violently” near the US Congress on Wednesday evening, the Capitol Police said. The group called for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In view of the riots, the police evacuated several MPs from the building. According to US media, there were ten to 15 politicians, some of them high-ranking, including the leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives, Hakeem Jeffries, parliamentary group leader Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar, the number 3 Democrat.

Evacuated Democrats thank Capitol Police

Some of the evacuees reported the incident on social media. “Just been evacuated from the #DNC,” California Rep. Brad Sherman described the action on X (formerly Twitter), describing the demonstrators as “pro-terrorist” and “anti-Israel.” They became violent, sprayed police officers with pepper spray and tried to “break into the building,” Sherman wrote. “I am grateful to the police officers who stopped them and helped me and my colleagues leave the building safely.”

His colleague Sean Casten from Illinois wrote that the demonstrators had surrounded the building and blocked all entrances and exits. “We were rescued by armed officers who did not know the protesters’ intentions; they only knew that members of Congress were in the building, could not leave, and that the protesters would not let the police through,” Casten explained on X. He was grateful for the professionalism of the Capitol Police and for ensuring that everyone was evacuated safely. “I also realize that it could have been much worse. Americans have the right to gather and protest. But PLEASE do so at a safe distance and respect local police orders.”

According to the Capitol Police, six officers were injured in the clashes: four from pepper spray, one from a punch in the face and one suffered a knee injury. The injured were said to be in good condition again. One of the demonstrators was arrested for attacking a police officer.

Protesters accuse emergency services of unnecessary violence

Demonstrators, however, accuse the police of using violence. The emergency services attacked the peaceful protesters without warning, wrote the anti-Zionist Jewish organization “Jewish Voice for Peace Action,” which reportedly organized the action together with the “Democratic Socialists of America” and the group “If Not Now.” supported, on

“If Not Now” claimed on X that more than 90 people were injured during the demonstration. This cannot be verified independently.

Sources: “The Hill”, “Roll Call”, CNN, Brad Sherman, Sean Casten, Jewish Voice for Peace Action

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