WASHINGTON: In a tense confrontation, U.S. Capitol Police clashed with demonstrators outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington, demanding ceasefire in Gaza.
The protest, organized by advocacy groups IfNotNow, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Democratic Socialists of America, aimed to demand a ceasefire in Gaza.
Protesters gathered near the U.S. Capitol, linking arms in front of the DNC building’s entrance and singing chants like “Which side are you on?” Police attempted to disperse the crowd, using force that included pushing, pulling, pepper spray, and projectiles containing chemical irritants. The situation escalated, resulting in clashes that led to injuries among both protesters and officers.
U.S. Capitol Police reported approximately 150 people were involved in the protest, described as “illegally and violently protesting.” Six officers were treated for injuries, and one person was arrested for assaulting an officer.
Congressman Sean Casten, evacuated from the DNC building, highlighted the challenging circumstances faced by lawmakers during the protest. The DNC, monitoring the situation, maintained contact with U.S. Capitol and local Washington police.
The organizers emphasized a peaceful gathering, with the intention to lay out candles for Palestinians killed during Israel’s bombardment and to advocate for a ceasefire. The demonstration reflects the ongoing global wave of public demonstrations related to the Israel-Gaza conflict, with both pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel sentiments expressed worldwide.