The ugly scenes from earlier this afternoon haven’t improved much as the 6:00 p.m. curfew instituted by Washington DC Mayor has come into effect and darkness envelops the nation’s capital.
After crowds in support of President Trump massed at the Capitol shortly after 1 p.m., some of the thousands in attendance rushed the barricades. Calling police “traitors” they forced their way into the Capitol.
Members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence were whisked away to a safe location. By 3 p.m. the situation had reached a critical stage when police, with guns drawn, barricaded the doors to the House. Members of Congress were taken to Ft. McNair. It is unclear right now when they will get back to their job of counting the electoral votes.
A woman was shot in the chest inside the Capitol and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Reports are surfacing that she has died as a result of her wounds.
Police finally began pushing crowds back and tempers grew even shorter, with police and protestors trading blows. The police then began gassing the protesters inside the Senate, where they were cleared later in the afternoon. By 6 p.m. the Capitol was deemed secure.
This stunning turn of events, which has been called a “coup, sedition, and insurrection” marks a low point in our nation’s history. Not since the War of 1812, when British troops burned Washington, has the Capitol been overrun.
Police around the DC Metro area were being called out all day to diffuse pipe bombs left around the city. Two of the devices were detonated safely while another was diffused by bomb technicians.
While leaders, both Republican and Democrat, called on President Trump to address the nation, the president responded with a totally insufficient message.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
“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!”
President-elect Joe Biden spoke for several minutes and was forceful calling out the violence and demanding that President Trump speak. He called the events “an assault on our Republic, an assault on the rule of the law… of the most sacred of American undertakings — the doing of the people’s business,”
“This is not dissent, it’s disorder, it’s chaos, it borders on sedition and it must end now,” Biden added.
Minutes later President Trump released a recorded video and in a mixed message told the crowd that he loved them.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order,” Trump said…
“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. We’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know you how feel. But go home, and go home in peace,” he added.
Twitter immediately flagged the post, making it impossible to be retweeted, liked, or commented on. Facebook removed the video from its feed.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, said that the people that descended on the interior of the Capitol were “wrong and not who we are.”
“Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone,” he said on Twitter.
Former President George W. Bush ripped the events of the day. “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions.”
As Biden said, the words of a president matter. At their best, he said, they can inspire. But at their worst, he added, they can incite. And that may indeed be the truest statement of the day.
Social media began being flooded with pictures of the protesters inside the Capitol building offices. The protesters were compared to Antifa and BLM. SOFREP social media was flooded with many such pictures.
And while, at first glance, the protesters inside the Capitol certainly appear to be people one would hardly call Trump supporters, Biden’s words ring true: With the invective that the president has been posting on social media since the election, this protest was an easy excuse for anyone to take advantage of the extreme rhetoric that has pushed people to the edge.
And whether, as Biden characterized it, this “small group of extremists” were Trump supporters or Antifa, in the end, it makes little difference.
This is as close as this country has been to an internal conflict since 1865.
The DC National Guard has been activated to help. Several other law enforcement groups, including the Federal Protective Service, Secret Service, Virginia National Guard, and Arlington and Virginia Police Department, are also streaming into the DC Metro area to assist.
We shouldn’t forget that the very act of counting the electoral votes is what separates the United States from so many other countries, including the U.S.’s enemies.