WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — There are conflicting accounts of the violence that ensued on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters between protesters and police.
Protesters claim 90 people were injured while the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) say six officers were injured.
USCP say protestors were violent but organizers insist it was peaceful.
One man from New York was arrested after USCP say he slammed an officer into a garage door and punched her in the face.
As the war in the Middle East continues, tensions remain high in D.C.
“Let Gaza live,” protesters chanted.
USCP say about 200 people gathered in front of the Democratic National Committee headquarters Wednesday night.
Kareem Elrafai is a steering commmittee member with the Democratic Socialists of America.
“The purpose of it was to have a candlelight vigil for those killed in the violence since Oct. 7, specifically for the Gazans that are under attack right now,” Elrefai said.
According to Elrefai, USCP started attacking protestors.
“They started using bikes and pushing over some protesters from my vantage point,” Elrafai said.
USCP said the crowd failed to obey orders to move away from the DNC as they were trying to protect a dozen members of Congress inside including California Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman.
“If you think your side can get an advantage by breaking the law, by trespassing, by blockading, by punching police officers, don’t do it,” Sherman said.
Eva Borgwardt, national spokesperson for IfNotNow, a Jewish group calling for a ceasefire, said the goal was to get lawmakers’ attention.
“We were blocking entrances except for one entrance where lawmakers were going in and out in order to be able to talk to them, since they haven’t been listening to their constituents,” Borgwardt said.
She says they condemn violence but stick by their stance that the protest was nonviolent.
“We have not seen evidence of violence by protesters. What we have seen is plenty of evidence of violence by police,” Borgwardt said.
USCP said it stands by the statement it released on Thursday regarding the protest.
“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.”
“Last night our team was quick, decisive, courageous and in control. When demonstrations cross the line into illegal activity it is our responsibility to maintain order and ensure people’s safety.”U.S. Capitol Police