Rep. Dingell: Riot at DNC ‘Rattled Me More Than Jan. 6’

“Wednesday evening’s protests at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee deeply unsettled me, more so than the events of January 6,” stated Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from Michigan.

Expressing her concern, Dingell said, “I was genuinely frightened. These gatherings have the potential to spiral out of control, and I fear someone might end up getting injured.” During a demonstration advocating for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, Dingell, along with other legislators, found herself momentarily confined inside the Capitol Hill building, amidst a tense standoff between police and protestors.

A significant number of Democratic representatives and aspiring political candidates, including Hakeem Jeffries, the House Minority Leader from New York, were present inside for a campaign event. Their gathering was disrupted by protestors outside, who were chanting and attempting to block all entry and exit points. The protestors, donning black shirts with “Cease Fire Now” inscriptions, aimed to compel the politicians to acknowledge their candlelit vigil and heed their pleas for halting the hostilities.

However, the situation rapidly deteriorated. The Capitol Police reported that approximately 150 individuals were engaged in “unlawful and aggressive protests” in the vicinity of Capitol Hill. In contrast, the protestors accused the police of initiating the conflict, claiming they were charged at without prior warning.

As per the Detroit News, Dingell made several attempts to leave the building but found exits obstructed by protestors. She recounted an incident where a police officer barred her way at the main exit, pointing towards a medical officer attending to a colleague who had been affected by pepper spray.

The organizers of the protest stated that their objective in obstructing the entrances was to create a single route for legislators and officials. This strategy was aimed at facilitating direct communication, as their repeated attempts to secure meetings through conventional channels had been largely unsuccessful.

Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg from Minneapolis, associated with Jewish Voice for Peace and its Rabbinical Council, lamented the missed opportunity for meaningful dialogue. “Our plan was to engage with our elected representatives, to pray, sing, and request a cease-fire together. Instead, we were met with force from the police, who pushed people down the steps,” she said.