If you’ve seen the pictures of masked, hooded men taking over the Washington Capitol but are wondering what the US Capitol Hill Siege all about, we’ve got you covered. Today we will be talking about everything you would want to know about the US Capitol Hill Siege.
Donald Trump’s efforts to undo the results of his defeat in the 2020 elections took a wild turn on Wednesday. An angry mob of Trump supporters that were armed marched into Capitol Hill when Congress was about the convene to validate Trump’s opponent Joe Biden’s win.
A violent clash ensued between the security and the mob in which a woman was fatally shot. The Pro-Trump mob continued with their anarchy and breached barricades, smashed windows, and fought with the Capitol police. The incident that occurred on Wednesday will go down in history as the worst security breaches the US ever saw.
Let’s start from the beginning.
What all happened in the Capitol on Wednesday?
#BREAKING: Senators pause Electoral College debate amid Capitol Hill protests.
Aide to Sen. James Lankford: “Protesters are in the building.” pic.twitter.com/GNOCrtpAuN
— The Hill (@thehill) January 6, 2021
An aggressive group of Pro-Trump protestors entered the second-floor lobby of the Senate Chamber building. Most of these protesters were wearing ‘Keep America Great’ t-shirts and had flags with Trump’s face on it.
Although the building was guarded by armed law enforcement officers, the mob managed to get past them. The mob then entered the Senate chamber where the election results were being certified. Guardian reports that one of the rioters climbed up the podium and yelled, “Trump won that election.”
Anarchy ensued after that as the rioters roamed through the building’s halls freely. Some protestors even looted the offices used by US Capitol officials. Fortunately, the lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives had already been evacuated.
As the Trump supporters made their way around the buildings, they took various pictures and videos. There are several videos that show people breaking windows, breaking barricades, and forcefully make their way through the Capitol’s offices.
After four hours of mayhem, an announcement was made about the demonstrators being cleared out of the building.
The senators that had to complete the certification of electoral college votes were safely escorted back in. It is reported that so far 4 people lost their lives in the attack. This includes one woman who was shot in the chest.
What was the lead up to such a huge breach though?
To answer this, we would have to rewind a few hours before the US Capitol siege. House before the anarchy, Trump supporters were swarming on the streets. These supporters were protesting against Biden’s victory in 2020’s presidential election, many of whom even camped out overnight.
After Trump’s scheduled “Save America” rally, where he spoke for an hour, thousands started marching towards the capitol.
In the capitol, the lawmakers were about to assemble for a joint session to count the electoral votes. By then, some of the protestors who had marched to the capitol began clashing with the police. The situation escalated when the demonstrators climbed the walls.
CHAOS ON CAPITOL HILL: A massive crowd of protestors forced a lockdown as members of Congress inside debated over Republican challenges to Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Some Trump supporters were chanting, “We took over the Capitol.”
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/epwfQJCsDl pic.twitter.com/Ks9UccaI2z
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) January 6, 2021
Seeing the situations slipping from hands, the official orders a complete evacuation of the Library of Congress along with the Madison Building and Cannon House Office Building.
Meanwhile, the police tried to take control of the situation by retaliating with tear gas. But as they were heavily outnumbered by an angry mob, they were soon overpowered.
Police on Capitol Hill responded with drawn guns and teargas as hundreds of protesters stormed the building and sought to force Congress to undo President Trump’s election defeat https://t.co/PnRtbCWuX4 pic.twitter.com/cKdUy8cvoh
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 6, 2021
But why is Trump being blamed for all this?
Several political analysts and including members of the Republican Party(of which Trump is part of) have been blaming Trump for this violent outbreak. The members claim that it was Trump’s speech at Ellipse park which served as the gasoline for the fire that swept Capitol Hill.
In his speech, Trump claimed that the election was “rigged” by “democrats” and the “fake news media” was against him. Here is what Trump said in his speech:
“And after this, we’re going to walk down there, and I’ll be there with you, we’re going to walk down…to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women,” he said. “And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.” he added.
The words are open-ended enough to be left for interpretations, and given the fanatical nature of his fans, it almost makes sense how all this came to be.
Trump again faced a lot of criticism when he shared his own video on social media where he justified the violent behavior of the rioters.
“But you have to go home now,” he said in the video that’s taken down as of now.
“We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time, there’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us. From me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home, we love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you’ve seen the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.” Trump said in the video.
After the chaos that emerged within the Capitol Hill halls, over a dozen Democrats called for Trump’s impeachment before the inauguration day.
Moreover, First Lady Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff, Stephaine Grisham formally resigned after the mayhem. Along with her, White House Social Secretary, Rickie Niceta also drew a hard line and resigned.
Following the mayhem that ensued within the halls of the Capitol, more than a dozen house Democrats renewed calls for Trump’s impeachment before inauguration day. Meanwhile, the Mayor of Washington DC Muriel Bowser extended the public emergency in DC for 15 more days.
I have issued Mayor’s Order 2021-003, extending the public emergency declared earlier today for a total of 15 days, until and unless provided for by further Mayoral Order.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 7, 2021
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, who is on his way to becoming the new president of the United States took to Twitter and condemned the situation:
Let me be very clear: the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It borders on sedition, and it must end. Now.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 6, 2021
US Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris too urged for the protest to end so that the democracy can see a fresh start.
I join President-elect @JoeBiden in calling for the assault on the Capitol and our nation’s public servants to end, and as he said, “allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 6, 2021
The more surprising word came from Trump’s own vice president Mike Pence when he tweeted about the situation and expressed his defiance.
The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol Must Stop and it Must Stop Now. Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) January 6, 2021