(LibertySociety.com) – Multiple Pro-Palestinian protests have kicked off across the country following the deadly Hamas terrorist attack against Israel on October 7. One protest on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. resulted in the temporary occupation of the Cannon Office Building Rotunda. Hundreds of people were arrested for illegally protesting inside the building.
IfNotNow, a group that self-describes as Jewish Americans who are “organizing our community” to end U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid system, held a rally that turned violent on November 15. The protesters gathered outside of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Washington D.C. headquarters to urge lawmakers to abandon support for Israel.
Several lawmakers were inside the building when the protest turned violent, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar. NBC News reported that the DNC was hosting a reception for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and that other lawmakers were also inside. NBC later confirmed the presence of three additional lawmakers, but none would comment on who else was in attendance. Capitol Police said that they moved the lawmakers to a safe location while evacuating the area.
Nearly 150 protestors were reportedly at the headquarters when the violence began. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Capitol Police said that six officers were injured during the protest turned riot. They arrested one individual who assaulted an officer. Police also patrolled outside other office buildings for the House of Representatives during the evacuation, restricting anyone from entering or leaving.
A spokesperson for the DNC told NBC that they had been in contact with Capitol Police and D.C. Metro Police. Police remained at the scene of the riot for several hours following the evacuation “out of an abundance of caution.” Videos from the riot showed members of IfNotNow demanding that lawmakers call for an immediate ceasefire and wearing shirts with the same message. They claimed that the protest was peaceful and that the police were being violent with them.
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