Police said they are evacuating the area around the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C., after they made arrests at a chaotic pro-Palestinian rally Wednesday night.
Officers are “working to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting in the area,” Capitol Police said on X, adding that they’re making arrests and that all lawmakers have been moved from the area.
IfNotNow, a group that describes itself as “American Jews organizing our community to end U.S. support for Israel’s apartheid system,” appeared to be at the protest, and it accused officers of being violent toward demonstrators.
“BREAKING: Police are being extremely violent outside @TheDemocrats headquarters,” the group posted on X. “We are linking arms, threatening no one, and begging our politicians to support an end to the killing and the suffering in Gaza. Begging, peacefully, for a ceasefire. And this is the response.”
Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., posted on X that he was evacuated from the DNC “after pro-terrorist, anti-#Israel protestors grew violent, pepper spraying police officers and attempting to break into the building.”
NBC News hasn’t independently verified Sherman’s characterization of the protest. Capitol Police didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Police said people should avoid the area.
Video posted to social media appears to show protesters wearing shirts emblazoned with “CEASE FIRE NOW” clashing with officers on the steps of the DNC, who appear to be working to remove demonstrators from the scene.
The protest comes a day after thousands gathered in Washington for a March for Israel rally against antisemitism.
The security level for Tuesday’s event was raised to the highest designation. There were no immediate reports of arrests or counterdemonstrations.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.