An unidentified House Democrat reportedly told Axios that Wednesday evening’s pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Washington, D.C., had been more frightening than the Capitol breach that took place on January 6, 2021.
According to multiple reports, pro-Palestinian protesters forced lockdowns at the Democratic National Committee and House office buildings, clashing with police as they demanded a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.
At least one Democratic lawmaker reportedly drew a comparison to the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill, telling Axios that the events “scared me more than January 6.” When the House member attempted to leave the DNC, “someone sent out word for people to come [back] and police said it’s not safe. Police were wearing gas masks … this was not peaceful.”
Capitol Police apparently agreed with that assessment, calling the demonstration “unlawful” and saying, “We have handled hundreds of peaceful protests, but last night’s group was not peaceful. The crowd failed to obey our lawful orders to move back from the DNC, where Members of Congress were in the building.”
“When the group moved dumpsters in front of the exits, pepper sprayed our officers and attempted to pick up the bike rack, our teams quickly introduced consequences – pulling people off the building, pushing them back, and clearing them from the area, so we could safely evacuate the Members and staff,” the statement continued. “Six officers were treated for injuries, from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched.”
— The U.S. Capitol Police (@CapitolPolice) November 16, 2023
Wednesday evening’s violent protest — which reportedly involved around 150 pro-Palestinian activists — came just one day after nearly 300,000 gathered on the National Mall to show solidarity with the Jewish people and stand with Israel.
At that event, there were no reports of violence or conflicts with police — and the only reports of vandalism were anti-Israel slogans and slurs spray-painted on portable toilets and an EMT tent that was set up for attendees.