A Democratic lawmaker at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters said Wednesday night that they were more scared when violent pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the building than during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The DNC was hosting a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee candidate event when protesters from IfNotNow and other left-wing pro-Palestinian groups began demonstrating violently outside the building and clashing with law enforcement.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar and DCCC Chair Suzane DelBene released a joint statement claiming the DNC protesters “escalated their activities in a manner that went beyond a peaceful demonstration.”
“We strongly support the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and encourage all who exercise that right to do so peacefully,” the Democratic leaders wrote.
IfNotNow’s national spokesperson said that “the goal was just to block the door in nonviolent civil disobedience.”
But a House Democrat who attended the DNC, along with Jeffries and other leaders, told Axios: “I was more afraid of it than on January 6.”
Another wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the violence on display was a surefire way to ensure that Republicans are elected into office in the next election.
The comparison to January 6 is stark, as participants who rioted at the Capitol continue to face legal repercussions and former President Donald Trump continues to face lawsuits over whether he participated in an insurrection that day.
The violence comes as Americans continue to clash over the war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
A Democrat within the DNC said Wednesday during violent pro-Palestinian protests outside its headquarters that they were more concerned about their safety at that moment than they were on Jan. 6, during the riot at the Capitol.
The U.S. Capitol Police released a statement Thursday morning claiming six of their officers were treated for injuries — including a female officer who was punched in the face by a 24-year-old man arrested for assaulting a police officer
Pro-Israel groups claim that pro-Palestinian groups want to wipe Israel – and the Jewish people – off the map. While pro-Palestinian activists claim that Jewish people are wrongly ‘occupying’ the land internationally recognized as Israel.
Hamas, Gaza’s de facto government, launched terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7, leading to the largest single-day massacre of Jewish people since the Holocaust. Since then, Israel has launched counterattacks against Gaza, resulting in thousands of Palestinian deaths.
Aside from a few progressive lawmakers, most Republicans and Democrats in Congress have sided with Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorists.
Pro-Palestinian activists say this is unacceptable and are lashing out at even Democratic lawmakers for not demanding a ceasefire.
Among those attending the DNC event during Wednesday’s clashes were Democratic leaders, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California).
Jeffries was part of the group of bipartisan lawmakers who spoke at the pro-Israel March in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Sherman wrote of X about the violence: “Apparently these pro-Hamas demonstrators want the Republicans to gain the upper hand in the next Congressional elections.”
He detailed, “Had just been evacuated from the DNC after pro-terrorist and anti-Israel protesters became violent, pepper-sprayed police officers and tried to break into the building.”
“Thank you to the police officers who stopped them and for helping me and my colleagues get out safely,” Rep. Sherman added.
USCP said violent protesters used bike racks to attack law enforcement, including members of the U.S. Capitol Police, while members of Congress were at the DNC headquarters for an event on Wednesday.
The violence erupted as the DNC hosted a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee candidate event with congressional leaders, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (pictured at the Capitol on Wednesday, November 15, before the violent collisions)
Shortly after protesters organized outside the DNC building in Washington, D.C., the scene quickly turned violent as law enforcement officers, including U.S. Capitol Police officers, told protesters to back out of the building where lawmakers were currently meeting.
Eva Borgwardt, IfNotNow’s national spokesperson, said that when pro-Palestinian groups refused to obey police orders, it prompted “the most brutal police response I have ever seen.”
The lawmaker who spoke to Axios said they were about to leave the DNC headquarters and return to the Capitol when police told them not to leave.
“Someone told people to come (back) and the police said it’s not safe,” the lawmaker said. “The police were wearing gas masks… this was not peaceful.”
The images and videos outside the building, just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, quickly went viral as protesters targeted law enforcement, hitting them with pepper spray, bike racks and fists.
The US Capitol Police (USCP) issued a statement Thursday morning saying six officers were treated for injuries – including a female officer who was punched in the face by a 24-year-old male protester from New York who was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Protesters from IfNotNow and other pro-Palestinian groups wear ‘Ceasefire NOW’ t-shirts as they demand Israel stop fighting Hamas terrorists
IfNotNow, which led the protest, released its own statement on Thursday claiming that more than 90 of their protesters were injured during the clashes.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson condemned the attack on the DNC headquarters by “pro-Hamas protesters.”
“As Americans, we must unite with one voice in steadfast support of our ally Israel,” he wrote in a statement. “I want to thank the U.S. Capitol Police officers who worked quickly to evacuate members, staff and civilians and arrest those involved in violence.”
“Congress will not be intimidated by this despicable display of anti-Semitism.”