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U.S. Capitol Locked Down As Far-Right Protesters Enter The Building

Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber inside the Capitol on Wednesday.
Protesters gesture to U.S. Capitol Police in the hallway outside of the Senate chamber inside the Capitol on Wednesday.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

U.S. Capitol Police have locked down all buildings within the U.S. Capitol complex as far-right demonstrations enter the Capitol building and continue to clash with police.

Police have alerted individuals to shelter in place, citing a "security threat inside the building." Staff have been urged to move inside offices, hide and lock external doors and windows.

House lawmakers are now being evacuated from the House floor. According to pool reporters, "banging" on the doors of the House floor by protesters is audible.

Previously, police placed the entire Capitol complex on lockdown and both the U.S. Senate and House then went into recess.

"Due to an external security threat located on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building, no entry or exit is permitted at this time," the police said in a statement. "You may move throughout the building(s) but stay away from exterior windows and doors. If you are outside, seek cover."

Capitol Police also issued safety guidance to staff in multiple federal buildings.

Alerts citing police activity have been sent to individuals in the Cannon House Office Building and the Library of Congress' James Madison Memorial Building.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier during protests at the U.S. Capitol today, prompting U.S. Capitol Police to take further security measures.
Julio Cortez / AP
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Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier during protests at the U.S. Capitol today, prompting U.S. Capitol Police to take further security measures.

Individuals in Cannon were originally told to evacuate as well but were later instructed to stay in the building, according to recent email updates from Capitol Police. The evacuation notice has since been cleared.

Staff inside the Library of Congress were also told to exit the building and remain calm, according to reporting from Politico.

This comes as thousands of pro-Trump and far-right protesters have congregated in downtown D.C. to contest the results of the presidential election.

Groups of protests have broken down barriers originally placed near the Capitol building and are now engaged in altercations with police. Lawmakers have begun acknowledging the escalating violence.

Congress has begun the process of officially recognizing the results of the presidential election. The process has been delayed for several hours after multiple Republican members challenged the results in Arizona, a move they are expected to do with several states.

In an address to protesters midday on Wednesday, President Trump repeatedly denied the results of the election, claiming without evidence that it was rigged against his campaign.

NPR's Deirdre Walsh and Kelsey Snell contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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