Riots at the Capitol

Loren Savage, Writer

On January 6, the Senate and House of Representatives gathered to certify electoral college votes. The gathering was later suspended due to riots breaking out on Capitol Hill. Trump supporters met to protest the certification of electoral votes because of alleged “voter fraud.”

The riots were said to have been incited by Donald Trump on January 6 during his “Save America” rally earlier in the day. Trump said, “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We’re not going to take it anymore.” Rudy Giuliani also spoke at the rally today. He too is being accused of inciting the violence today. Giuliani said, “So, let’s have trial by combat.”

In the early afternoon on the 6th, rioters began to storm the Capitol, eventually breaching the building. Representatives evacuated and were moved to a secret location. The rioters began breaking windows and fighting police officers to try and enter the building, eventually succeeding. The rioters were held up outside of the Senate floor for a while before eventually breaching there as well. A curfew was put in place for 6 p.m.

The rioters eventually took over most of the building, entering the House floor and the offices of many representatives.

President-elect Joe Biden spoke today calling on the rioters to stop, and on Trump “to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.” Biden also said, “This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”

Later, President Donald Trump came out with a video asking the rioters to go home peacefully. Talking more about voter fraud and a stolen election, he said, “I know your pain. I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us.” Trump asked the rioters to go home saying, “You have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.” Though Trump tried to get the rioters to leave, he failed. The rioters stayed even after the six o’clock curfew. About an hour and a half after the curfew, the number of Trump supporters started to dwindle.

President Donald Trump’s Twitter account has been suspended for 12 hours. Three of his tweets were also removed because they violated Twitter’s community guidelines.

Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to condemn the violence and ask rioters to go home. “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol must stop and it must stop now,” said Pence. “Anyone involved must respect law enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.”

Earlier in the day during the electoral vote certification Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell said that refusing to accept the outcome of this election could be harmful. McConnell said, “The voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They’ve all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our Republic forever.” McConnell later called the rioters “unhinged” and said they failed to destroy our democracy.

At 8 p.m., Congress resumed session. Representatives began talking about the events of that day and the election results.

A woman was shot during a standoff in the Capitol and was rushed to the hospital. She was pronounced dead later that evening.

Three pipe bombs were found on Capitol grounds.

Many people are upset about the treatment of the rioters. They believe that compared to the Black Lives Matter protesters, these Trump supporters are being treated much better. Riot gear was not put on by police officers until later in the evening, close to the curfew. BLM protesters were met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and police in riot gear for hours, while the mostly white pro-Trump rioters were met with barely anything compared to the BLM protests in the summer. Very few police officers were present, and those who were were not adorned with riot shields and gas masks like those at the protests in the summer.

People believe that they should have been met with more force since BLM protests were protesting racial injustice, while pro-Trump rioters are protesting election results.

Many people believe that if the Black Lives Matter protesters had breached the Capitol they would have been immediately arrested, or worse, killed.

Several also raise the question: How did they even get in? How were they not immediately stopped? Why didn’t anyone do anything? This was a threat to national security. So, how was it allowed to happen?