A pro-Palestinian protest at Democratic Party headquarters in Washington, D.C., that ended up being violent, has given rise to concerns among Democrats ahead of the party’s presidential nominating convention, which is to be held there this summer.

The city continues to bear the marks of the violent clashes between law enforcement and anti-war protesters that took place during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, ultimately contributing to the downfall of the party’s chosen candidate, Hubert Humphrey.

The recent incident in Washington last week, when six police officers got hurt and a number of lawmakers had to be evacuated from the DNC headquarters, has sparked worries that the escalating divide over the Israel-Gaza conflict might provoke violent demonstrations in Chicago.

Rich Guidice, the chief of staff to Mayor Brandon Johnson, who is involved in managing the logistics for the 2024 convention, emphasized the importance of being prepared for a considerable amount of tension and strongly held views. He mentioned that measures are being implemented, including de-escalation training, to address this issue.

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Kobi Guillory, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, has requested a permit for a procession of 1,000 individuals to express their disagreements with Israel’s actions in Gaza during the convention.

Guillory clarified that his group has no intention of seeking conflict at the convention and places blame on the D.C. police for escalating tensions. He referred to the infamous incident in 1968, where riot gear-clad police officers were captured on television brutally beating protesters.

Guillory acknowledged that their plan is to maintain a peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere, but expressed uncertainty about the police’s intentions. Rather than engaging in physical altercations with law enforcement, their goal is to voice their grievances.

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