A protester told CNN that the crowd had moved away from the White House on Monday evening and was injured in a residential area where he was celebrated by the police.
The protester, who just wanted to be described as Meka, told CNN that the protest was peaceful and that people were just trying to understand what to do.
“I think someone ordered and they started pushing us, spraying lumps, chewing people, and then everyone started to panic,” said 22-year-old college senior.
He looked around and saw that his friend stepped into the nearby house and waved the protesters to come.
“I ran to the steps and started to get in as quickly as possible,” Meka said. Said. “Right now, I didn’t know if it was the right decision, but I think it was.”
He said he was looking out the window and saw more police officers than he could count, and many were arrested outside.
Peter Newsham, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said on Tuesday that none of the protesters inside the house were arrested and the officers “were in constant contact with that host throughout the evening”.
Newsham said on Monday night, 300 people were arrested, including in the area around Rahul Dubey’s home.
He said he shouted, “Come in, go home” for about 10 minutes.
Dubey said that about 70 protesters entered the WJLA and had been “pandemonium and turmoil” for about an hour and a half, and they were trying to help people who were sprayed pepper.
CNN could not reach Dubey for comment.
Meka told CNN that she had never slept on Monday night and the police were trying to get the protesters out.
At one point, Dubey said he was able to deliver pizza and that some members of the community also brought food.
Becca Thimmesch lives about two blocks from Dubey, and she and three others said they were in the stoop overnight to observe police activity and check in to protesters.
He said that after the curfew was lifted, they tried to organize trips to take young people home.
“About five hours later, with an hour of curfew, the community members began to bring left and right food and water, hand sanitizers and cars, and buy people,” said Thimmesch. Said.
The protesters said they had more volunteers than they needed when they went out, so many remained and helped clear it.
Thimmesch said that other residents on the street allowed protesters to enter their homes.
“There is a global pandemic right now, and we were told, ‘Don’t let people in your home, don’t let people share with you,’” he said. “And you know, these random people did what I thought was a great sacrifice, trying to secure the safety of young people they didn’t know.”
Dubey told WJLA that he was thinking of his family of young protesters and was relieved to receive texts and messages, all of which were safe at home.
“I hope my 13-year-old son will be as amazing as them.”
“I hope they keep fighting and I hope they go out peacefully today as they were yesterday and don’t blink because our country needs them and they need you and everyone more than ever.”
CNN’s Lauren Koenig contributed to this story.
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