(WASHINGTON) — Capitol Police said they are working to “keep back” 150 people who are “illegally and violently” protesting outside of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C.
They said they were making arrests but didn’t say how many. It appears, based on social media postings, that protesters are calling for a cease-fire in the Middle East.
“Right now our officers are working to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting in the area of Canal Street and Ivy Street, SE. Officers are making arrests. All Members have been evacuated from the area. Please stay away from the area,” Capitol Police said in a statement.
Congressman Brad Sherman, D-Cailf., posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he was inside the DNC when he had to be evacuated.
Members of Congress were hearing from prospective candidates inside of the DNC when Capitol Police evacuated them from the building, Rep. Sherman told ABC News in a phone interview.
In total, about seven members of Congress were inside when they were evacuated from the building by “heavily armed and serious” U.S. Capitol Police officers, Sherman said.
The forum was attended by Democratic leadership, including minority leader Hakeem Jeffries, Whip Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar, but Sherman said Jefferies and Clark had left by the time protests started breaking out.
Rep. Sherman said members inside the room heard chants of “cease-fire now,” and they thought it was going to be 10 or 15 minutes and then the protesters were going to leave.
“Then the Capitol Police came in big time and said, ‘We’re getting you out of here,"” he told ABC News.
Congressman Sean Casten, D-Ill., posted on X he was evacuated from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee office after the building was surrounded by protesters.
“I was just evacuated from the @dccc office after the building was surrounded by protestors who had blocked all modes of ingress and egress. Grateful to Capitol Police for getting all members and staff out safely. To the protestors: PLEASE don’t do something irresponsible,” said Rep. Casten.
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