Jewish pro-ceasefire organizations accuse police of violent crackdown on DNC protest

Washington DC - A protest at the Democratic National Committee headquarters demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war ended in arrests and accusations of police brutality.

Protesters outside the DNC headquarters demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war accused the police in violently attacking them.
Protesters outside the DNC headquarters demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war accused the police in violently attacking them.  © REUTERS

Scores of protesters reportedly blocked an entrance to the DNC building in Washington DC on Wednesday night.

They were immediately accused of acting "illegally and violently" by the Capitol Police, which announced it was making arrests and escorted Democratic legislators out of DNC offices.

Six police officers were treated for injuries "ranging from minor cuts to being pepper sprayed to being punched," Capitol Police posted later in the evening after protesters were cleared out.

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"Was just evacuated from the #DNC after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building," California lawmaker Brad Sherman posted on X.

Protesters say cops turned violent

IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace organized a candlelight ceasefire vigil outside the DNC building.
IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace organized a candlelight ceasefire vigil outside the DNC building.  © REUTERS

But protesters and some journalists present at the scene said cops were the only ones doing the pepper spraying, as well as worse.

In a statement, the Jewish anti-apartheid organization IfNotNow said more than 90 people were injured after they were "dragged by the hair, choked, thrown down stairs, and punched in the face."

Both IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) were involved in setting up a candlelight ceasefire vigil outside the building, which they say was also violently rushed "without warning" by police in riot gear.

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"Tonight, hundreds of peaceful anti-war activists came to the DNC to call for an end to bombs and violence in order to save Palestinian and Israeli lives. They were met with brutal assaults by the police," said Beth Miller, political director for JVP Action.

"The Democrats need to decide: will they stand on the side of peace and justice, or will they continue to support war and genocide?"

An overwhelming majority of Democrats support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, in jarring contrast to the stance taken by most Democratic members of Congress and President Joe Biden.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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