In Washington, DC, police employ chemically irritant-containing missiles and pepper spray on “non-violent” protestors.
Outside the Democratic National Committee offices in Washington, DC, protesters demanding a truce in the Israel-Gaza conflict have fought with riot police.
On Wednesday night, demonstrators gathered in front of the DNC building’s entrance close to the Capitol, several of them sporting shirts that said “Cease Fire Now.” Some of them even sang, “Which side are you on?”
To try to get the protestors out of the area, police dragged and shoved them, even pushing one of them down a stairway that led to the entrance. In addition, police fired bullets that contained chemical irritants and employed pepper spray.
People, according to demonstrator Dani Noble, arrived at the DNC to nonviolently urge Democratic Party leaders to back a ceasefire in Gaza.
Rather, Noble stated, “we were met by police wearing riot gear, pulling people to the ground and pulling on people who are disabled or have chronic illnesses.”
“It is disgusting how our community’s members and peaceful protestors were treated violently tonight. It is really deplorable,” he continued.
About 150 individuals were “illegally and violently protesting,” according to Capitol Police. Six cops were reportedly treated for wounds that ranged from cuts to punches and pepper spray.
Capitol Police said on social media, “One person has been arrested for assault on an officer.”Those who accused the demonstration organizers of being aggressive were refuted.Legislators present at the DNC headquarters at the time were taken by police out of the building and to safety.
Congressman Sean Casten stated: “We were saved by armed police officers who had no idea what the protesters were trying to accomplish; they just knew that Congressmen were inside and could not get out, and that demonstrators would not let them pass.”
Members of three advocacy groups, Jewish Voice for Peace, which supports Palestinian independence, Democratic Socialists of America, and IfNotNow, which calls on US Jewish organizations to stop supporting Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, participated in the demonstration.
Jewish Voice for Peace posted on social media that the demonstrators had convened to demand a ceasefire and to set out candles in memory of the Palestinians who had died as a result of Israel’s bombing.
The sole American Palestinian member of Congress, Representative Rashida Tlaib, was censured last week by a sizable portion of House Democrats in opposition to her criticism of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians. This vote was supported by almost all Republicans.
Since October 7, when Hamas launched an attack in Israel that claimed 1,200 lives and Israel started an ongoing bombardment of Gaza that killed over 11,300 Palestinians, nearly 40% of them were children, public protests both in favor of Israel and the Palestinians have spread throughout the world.
The pro-ceasefire rally on Wednesday took place one day after hundreds of pro-Israeli demonstrators flocked to the National Mall, brandishing signs that said, “Let Israel finish the job,” “From the river to the sea, Israel is all you’ll see,” and insistence that there be “no ceasefire.”