Coup at Capitol Hill


Image of Capitol Hill on January 6th.

The country has been in shock since the storming of the United States Capitol building on January 6th. Dozens of livid Trump supporters broke into the building and began to deface and vandalize the building. This attempted coup was in response to the recent election results, in which Joe Biden was determined to be the winner of the 2020 election. Members of Congress had gathered to certify the electoral college votes when the attacks began.

This terrifying event was preceded by President Trump calling his supporters to action at a speech at the Ellipse. “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said to the crowd. “Let the weak ones get out.” The current president has been adamant about his feelings towards the election results. He has claimed to have evidence that the election was rigged and that the increase of mail-in votes is a sure sign of fraud. His supporters have been fervently on his side throughout the election process.

On the cool Wednesday afternoon of the riot, a maskless and MAGA-wearing crowd gathered outside the gates of the Capitol, yelling obscenities and demands of “Where are they?” Not long after, they began to make their way to the doors of the building, armed with crowbars and firearms. The members of Congress inside were evacuated from the scene quickly. Capitol police and security were quickly overwhelmed by the crowd and eventually, they stormed inside and chaos ensued. Five were killed in the riot, including a Capitol security officer. The crowd ended the night in the front of the building, tearing down the American flag and replacing it with a Trump 2020 flag. Even after they left, the horror of what unfolded was still evident. During the cleanup operation, a pipe bomb was found outside the building, as well as two more at the Republican and Democrat head offices. The photos from the event were concerning as well. One shows a man waving at the camera as he steals a podium, another shows a man sitting at a Congresswoman’s desk with his feet up.

This display of violence has raised many concerns about security. Video footage shows law enforcement letting the crowd through the gates and up the steps to the doors of the building without resisting them. Photos show officers stopping to take pictures with members of the crowd. The apparent lack of security at Capitol Hill has caused many people to raise their eyebrows. Some of the officers on duty on Wednesday have been suspended from duty due to their own personal actions. However, this does not reflect the entire security team at the Capitol. More video footage shows officers bravely standing their ground as the masses come towards them. One officer was killed in the attack as he tried to defend the building.

President Trump has been under fire ever since, especially when he took to Twitter to call the rioters off. “We have to have peace. So go home.” he said. “We love you; you’re very special.” The mob subsided after this call, but they ran into trouble when they tried to get home. Video footage has risen of men and women who cannot get on planes because of their involvement in the riot. Many of the rioters have been permanently banned from social media, as well as President Trump. The actions of the rioters at Capitol Hill are being condemned nationwide, but despite this, the arrests are moving slowly and the charges are light. Most of the arrested have been charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct, but some are facing charges of theft and vandalism. The FBI is now conducting a full search to find the remaining people involved in the riot.