Siege on the US Capitol
On January 6, 2021, Americans and people from all over the world witnessed domestic terrorism at the U.S Capitol, led by pro-Trump supporters and, appropriately called, white supremacists and rioters.
In response to the results of the 2020 presidential election, these far-right mobs stormed through the Capitol, the first time since the British invasion in 1814. As of recent updates, there have been 4 reported deaths, 69 arrests (and counting), and 14 police officers injured from this breach.
What is so terrifying about these recent attacks on our democracy is the now unsurprising fact that the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, urged his supporters to resist the counting of the electoral votes. His tweet about peace was overshadowed by his inability to concede, claiming that the election was stolen and hinting that these mobs had the right intentions. Senators and representatives had to evacuate as demonstrators quickly reached the doors to the House and Senate.
Many of these rioters had arms and weapons along with them as they invaded the Capitol, breaking windows and climbing walls past the police. Video and camera footage revealed that some of the police were taking selfies and pictures with rioters rather than taking appropriate measures to ensure that no damage was done to the capitol.
This just brings to light the direct discrepancy between BLM protests and the siege on the U.S. Capitol. If these mobs consisted of minorities, there would be teargas, gunshots, and many more deaths and arrests. BLM protests have revealed the violence and aggression enacted upon peaceful protestors, yet when a group of white supremacists is invading an institute of our democracy, there is no sign of security.
Trump and his supporters refuse to accept the results of the election, trying to go against the choice of the electoral college, the word of the vice president and senate majority leader and have created a coalition of their own that is outside of the Republican party. A Confederate flag has not once been waved in the U.S Capitol until now, not even during the Civil War. The hypocrisy is undeniable: back in July of 2020, Trump tweeted:
“Anarchists, Agitators, or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it!”
This was directed to BLM protestors. Now, with his own supporters vandalizing a federal building, he tweets:
“I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
The irony is immeasurable. The tone he takes on when addressing domestic terrorism at the capitol is the complete opposite of his tweet in July. He obviously does not care for the welfare of America but rather solely appeals to his own supporters, making a weak attempt to maintain peace while egging them on at the exact same time.
President-elect Joe Biden has responded to the catastrophe, calling this an ‘insurrection,’ saying that “At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times.” He continues reiterating his aim at unity and being a president for all Americans- “So, President Trump, step up.” What we have witnessed is a direct threat to our democracy and what this country stands for. We are seeing firsthand the unhealable wounds of American politics and society, a division so deep that it will not be cured in our lifetime.
Rioters managed to delay the vote counting for a few hours before recounting started again. Congress has officially certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. Despite Trump’s attempts to change our democratic way of electing president, Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20. Republicans and Democrats alike have voiced their objection to President Trump’s claims, following the true democratic process.
January 6, 2021, is a day in history that will not be forgotten. It is not so often where we see a direct attack on American institutions by so-called patriots themselves. All of this from the denial of the presidential election results. Trump and his supporters continue making false claims about voter fraud and this rigged election. It was not unsurprising to see mobs resort to violence and riots to try and get their way, endangering senators and representatives while also endangering themselves.
It is simply disturbing and terrifying to see it all come into action. Americans are afraid and have every right to be the future of our country is extremely delicate. We will have to hold on tight for these next two weeks.
If they are willing to attack a symbol of our country, who knows what else they will do for the next few years?
Writer - Jasmine Kwok
Editor - Priyam Kusundal
Illustrator and Graphics - Jhem Picache