Rep. Debbie Dingell: DNC protest ‘rattled me more than Jan. 6’

The Michigan congresswoman was inside the Democratic National Committee building when it was surrounded by anti-Israel demonstrators

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Protesters block the entrance of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee during a demonstration against the war between Israel and Hamas on November 15, 2023 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now held a candlelight vigil to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) said on Thursday that an anti-Israel demonstration outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters shook her more than the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol.

“This rattled me more than Jan. 6 did,” Dingell, who was at DNC HQ for an event during the protest, said in an interview with The Detroit News. “I was scared. Someone is going to get hurt at one of these things. They can get out of control.”

Dingell told the newspaper that she had attempted to leave the DNC building through multiple exits which were blocked by protesters, at one point coming across an officer who had been pepper sprayed. She was ultimately trapped inside the building for around an hour.

Police have said that the protestors pepper sprayed officers, which spokespeople for the demonstrators have denied. At least one officer was photographed spraying protesters. The protest was organized by far-left groups including IfNotNow, Jewish Voice for Peace and the Democratic Socialists of America.

Dingell’s comments are particularly striking given that she was on the floor of the House when rioters breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 and has said that she heard gunshots and pounding on the doors of the House chamber, and smelled tear gas as she was evacuated. 

Dingell is also herself a staunch progressive who has raised concerns over the reported civilian death toll from Israel’s operations in Gaza.

Other lawmakers who were inside the DNC have also invoked comparisons to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol since the demonstration.

One individual was arrested at the demonstration for assaulting an officer and six officers were treated for injuries, according to Capitol Police.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.