Protesters pour red powder on US Constitution enclosure, prompting evacuation of National Archives

FILE - Guards stand next to the U.S. Constitution in the newly renovated Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, Sept. 16, 2003, during a media tour. The National Archives building and galleries were evacuated Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14, 2024, after two protestors dumped red powder on the protective casing around the U.S. Constitution. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) (Ron Edmonds, AP2003)

WASHINGTON – The National Archives building and galleries were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after two protesters dumped red powder on the protective case around the U.S. Constitution.

The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., according to the National Archives. There was no damage to the Constitution itself.

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A video posted on the X social media platform shows two men covered in reddish-pink powder standing in front of the equally splattered horizontal glass case that houses the Constitution.

“We are determined to foment a rebellion,” one man says. “We all deserve clean air, water, food and a livable climate.”

Police then led the pair away.

“The National Archives Rotunda is the sanctuary for our nation’s founding documents. They are here for all Americans to view and understand the principles of our nation," Archivist of the United States Colleen Shogan said in a statement. "We take such vandalism very seriously and we will insist that the perpetrators be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The building is expected to be open Thursday.

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