Protesters chanting Black Lives Matter slogans on Wednesday clashed with Capitol Hill police outside the fence erected last week to keep Congress safe during President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to power.
The group, which was attempting to tie a banner with the slogan “EXPEL ALL FASCISTS” to the fence, met strong resistance from the police, which ordered them to leave Capitol Hill because they were protesting without a permit. Protesters resisted and shouted at the police line. Capitol Hill police, as well as a contingent of the National Guard, pushed the group off the Hill before dispersing them.
The protest began when members of the group ShutDownDC invited protesters to write the names of congressional Republicans who had backed President Trump’s attempts to challenge the election on Jan. 6. The group singled out Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as the Republicans who most urgently needed to be “expelled” from the Senate.
“It’s not enough to impeach the president of the United States,” ShutDownDC organizers told reporters. “We need to expel the members of Congress who aided and abetted and facilitated the political conditions to allow a fascist mob to overtake the Capitol and have five people die.”
In a press release, ShutDownDC claimed that it would “calmly reclaim the space” that Trump supporters overran on Capitol Hill last Wednesday after Trump gave a speech in which he blamed Congress for not overturning Biden’s win. The group previously organized a protest outside Hawley’s house when he announced that he would challenge the election results.
But when the protesters approached the fence, police gathered in large numbers and told the group to leave the premises.
“If you do not leave, you will be subject to arrest,” an officer told the protesters.
After the announcement, protesters began chanting at the police, with some accusing police of “allowing” the Trump-supporting protesters to storm the Capitol. When protesters would not leave, more police arrived with zip ties and began pulling them into the shape of handcuffs. The National Guard began forming a second line behind Capitol Hill police.
The line pushed the protesters away from the fence. As more police joined the line, protesters began chanting at them and accusing them of being fascists.
“No cops! No KKK! No fascist USA!” the crowd chanted at one point, before accusing the police of only “protecting” Trump supporters.
The protest occurred exactly one week after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a demonstration that provoked widespread Republican defections from the president’s cause.
Author : Nicholas Rowan
Source : Washington Examiner : Black Lives Matter protesters clash with police over Capitol Hill fence