The Capitol Building Riot- What Happened?
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, a protest broke out in Washington, DC, with thousands of Trump supporters protesting the 2020 Presidential election results. Protesters carried “Trump 2020,” Blue lives matter, American, and confederate flags.
While lawmakers were inside the capitol building, the protesters quickly shifted into a mob, storming the Capitol building. The mob began climbing the walls and pushed past law enforcement, forcing their way inside the building.
Government officials crouched under chairs and tables, and locked themselves in their offices, while the mob roamed the hallways and rooms of the White House and even tried to force their way into the House chamber, where members of the House still remained.
People began posing for pictures in government officials' offices, chairs, and in the Senate chamber, broke windows, overturned benches and chairs, and ultimately trashed the Capitol building.
The DC National Guard was activated and had to draw their guns in order to keep rioters out of the House chamber. A 35 year old woman from San Diego was shot in the Capitol, dying from her injuries a few hours later. Five other people have died since then, including one police officer who was at the Capitol.
The Capitol police and national guard needed help getting rioters out of the Capitol building, and the FBI and US Marshals Service were deployed.
Multiple improvised explosive devices were found, but none exploded, and it was unclear if they worked or not.
Muriel Bowser, the DC mayor, ordered a 12 hour curfew starting at 6 p.m, in hopes to decrease the chaos. Crowds did begin to disperse, but there were still more than 60 arrests for people breaking curfew.
Trump tweeted multiple times about the mob, seeming to not do or say anything to stop the violence. Eventually, in a video released, Trump asked people to go home but still did not criticize the violence occurring at the Capitol.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and many more social media platforms have all blocked Trump’s accounts temporarily or indefinitely for invoking violence and encouraging these mobs while law enforcement was trying to stop them and get them out of the Capitol or to prevent a recurrence in the future. Instagram and Facebook later announced that his accounts would be blocked indefinitely.
Many government officials criticized Trump and how he handled the situation, including former President Barack Obama, who said it was "a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation."
In a speech, President-elect Joe Biden reacted to the events, saying “It’s not a protest, it’s insurrection.”
Congress affirmed Biden’s win on Jan. 7, and, for the first time, President Trump pledged “an orderly transition.” However, on Jan. 8, Trump announced that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration, making him the first president since 1869 to do so.