Things quickly got out of hand, and by the end of the night, six Capitol Police officers had been injured, one demonstrator was arrested for assaulting a member of law enforcement, and all House buildings had been shut down.
In a statement, the force announced that the officers in question suffered from a variety of wounds, with some being pepper sprayed, and others being punched or cut up in the chaos.
"We have handled hundreds of peaceful protests, but last night’s group was not peaceful," they explained. "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 arrestee was 24-year-old Ruben Arthur Camacho of Woodbridge, NY who allegedly "slam[med] another officer into a garage door and then punch the female officer in the face."
"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," they said on X during the incident. "Officers are making arrests. All Members have been evacuated from the area. Please stay away from the area."
One of those evacuated was California Rep. Brad Sherman, who said that "pro-terrorist, anti-Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building."
"Apparently, these pro-Hamas demonstrators want Republicans to prevail in the next Congressional election," he added, expressing his gratitude to law enforcement for ensuring his, and other members of Congress' safe passage out of the headquarters.
Many of the demonstrators wore t-shirts calling for a cease-fire. One woman said they were there protesting the Democrats because "this party claims to be on the side of life and peace and equality and we're saying we want them to live up to their values and oppose this horrific war and call for a cease fire now." She complained about police attempting to prevent her and others from gaining access to the building.
The demonstration was organized by If Not Now, an anti-Israel group aimed at "organizing our community to end US support for Israel's apartheid system." In a statement, they claimed that the event had been "nonviolent," and only got rowdy after police arrived and "attacked them, causing over 90 injuries."
They even went so far as to claim that people were "shoved down the stairs and tackled to the pavement by cops running at full speed."
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