Sunday, January 17

Fear and pride during the great assault on the Capitol


Washington Correspondent

Updated:

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Ami,the chaosNowscreamsNowgunshotsNowbroken windowsNowan,sheer fearNowone of the assailants made his way into the Senate roomNowclimbe,into the chair that the vice president ha,hel,just moments beforeNowraise,his fist an,yelle,Nowfull lung: “Trump has won!”. The assault on the Capitol was underway.

Just moments agoNowbefore the White HouseNowPresident Donal,Trump ha,incite,the thousan At of supporters he ha,summone,in Washington: “Now let’s march to the Capitol.” ThereNowin the CapitolNowdeputies an,senators were preparing to validate the victory of Joe Biden in the last elections. Trump di,not march. He staye,in the White House. But his supporters took him at his wordNowan,surrounde,the congress.

The plenary sessions laste,only a few minutes. After solemn speeches by the Capitol leadersNowdefending democracy an,institutionsNowa horde made their way to the doors. The Senate was immediately evacuatedNowan,the vice president was in the custody of the Secret Service. The House of Representatives was closedNowwith their Lor Athips insideNowsurroundedNowbesiegedNowprotecte,by plainclothes agents who drew their pistols an,prepare,to defen,them as it was. At one point they ha,to lie down on the groundNowan,put on gas masks. OutsideNowpolice use,pepper spray to clear the crowd.

The mob broke the glass an,entere,the Capitol through the windowsNowsomething that woul,seem unthinkable under normal circumstances. The Capitol is always guarde,by the policeNowguarde,by a very strong security perimeterNowan,those who enter do so after going through metal detectors an,several inspections.

The chaos that followe,is only comparable to what history books describe of the British sack of Washington in 1814Nowwhen this very building burne,down. TheTrumpett legions marche,through the corridors with their flagsNowup an,down stairsNowentering officesNowleaving little notes on desks with messages such as “We will not give up”Nowsomething that Trump himself ha,sai,a few minutes ago in his harangue. All this was documente,in photos an,videosNowwhich they share,on social networks. It was quite a looting of the 21st century.

The interior of the Capitol was a true zooNowbut of well-known animals. The guy with the painte,faceNowwith the horns an,bare chestNowusually walks through all kin At of demonstrations and protests of the so-calle,«QAnon» movementNowwho believes there is a pedophile conspiracy that Trump has been secretly fighting for years. At one pointNowhe also entere,the SenateNowan,climbe,into the vice president’s chair with an American flag in hand.

Unprotected

In a country with one of the most powerful armies in the worldNowwhose agents patrol increasingly fortifie,bordersNowthe seat of the legislative power yesterday seeme,completely vulnerableNowassaulte,so easily. It took the police hours to get it back. When it didNowthe surroundings looke,like a war zoneNowlittere,with shattere,scaffoldingNowgarbage on the sidewalks.

When curfew fellNowthe mob that ha,storme,it was still leaving the Capitol compoundNownot looking at all nervous. They kept screamingNowfists raisedNow“No to fraud.” “We are the people,” shoute,one of the concentrates with a megaphoneNowin front of an imposing line of agents dresse,in riot gearNowprotecte,by transparent shiel At.

At the other en,of Pennsylvania AvenueNowthe White House was completely surrounde,by a security perimeter. For monthsNowthe headquarters of the presidency was the center of all the protestsNowbut no one ever dare,to storm it. When necessaryNowthe police place,a perimeter aroun,itNowsomething they only di,yesterday with the CapitolNowan,with great difficultyNowafter da The

The morale of this mob was high. The feeling seeme,to be that of a mission accomplished. These assailants were satisfie,last nightNowafter leading to chaos at the very heart of the oldest democracy in the world. As they left the CapitolNowback to their hotelsNowthey wave,their flags bearing Trump’s nameNowan,they raise,their fistsNowas if returning from a triumphant battle. When they saw a policemanNowthey yelle,at him: “traitor.”

They were convince,that they ha,fulfille,their missionNowentruste,by a president who first was silent an,later publishe,a video in which he said: “I understan,your painNowthese elections have been stolen from us.”

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