The United States Capitol, the seat of American democracy, has been stormed by supporters of Donald Trump, incited by the president in a desperate and violent effort to overturn the election results.
Minutes after news broke that the vice president had announced that he would not follow the president’s orders and reverse Trump’s loss to Joe Biden at the polls, hundreds of pro-Trump protesters broke through the barriers around the Capitol building and advanced.
Footage from inside the building showed that some pro-Trump rioters had reached one of the Capitol doors and smashed the glass. One group managed to make their way into the atrium of the Senate Rotunda, carrying Confederate flags. The Capitol Police were outnumbered and seemed to vanish.
ADDA At least one person was shot and wounded by security agents inside the Capitol, and an explosive device was also found. Several policemen were also injured. END
It was the most dramatic challenge to America’s democratic system since the civil war. and forced the suspension of a joint session of Congress that had been called to certify the results of the November presidential elections.
Members of Congress were told to don gas masks after tear gas was fired in the Rotunda of the US Capitol, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other senators were removed, escorted by staff and police.
A curfew was declared at 6 p.m. ADDA in the capital, and the Pentagon said about 1,100 DC National Guard would be deployed to help support law enforcement agencies.
And a few hundred miles away in Georgia, votes were counted in the second round elections.
Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won their races, giving Democrats control of the Senate for the opening of the presidency of Joe Biden, in an unmistakable resignation from Trump and Trumpism at deep south
However, their leader had told the crowds in Washington that the votes against him had been rigged and had told them to march on Capitol Hill to “defend the integrity of our elections” and “save our democracy.”
Trump told them to converge on Congress “in a peaceful and patriotic manner,” but the order was broken minutes after he spoke.
The mob, wearing Make America Great Again caps, scrambled up the steps of the Capitol, forcing the police to retreat, firing flash-bangs and paintballs from higher balconies in an effort to keep them at bay.
The massive ranks of the national guard and federal agencies that had driven the peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters from the streets around the White House were nowhere to be seen.
In the eyes of the rioters, the democratic procedures and traditions of which the United States has so far been so proud had been transformed, by the insistent oratory of its leader, into mere traps of treason.
As protesters took selfies inside the Senate chamber and offices, Trump tweeted: “Remember, WE are the Law and Order Party, we respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.”
But the outgoing president came under increasing pressure, from allies and enemies, to condemn the violence.
President-elect Joe Biden lamented the “assault on the rule of law” in Washington, a “citadel of freedom.”
“The scenes of chaos on Capitol Hill don’t reflect a true America, they don’t represent who we are,” Biden said. “What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to anarchy.”
Biden said the violence on Capitol Hill “borders on sedition” and “must end now.”
“I call on President Trump to come out on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege,” Biden said. “It is not a protest; it is insurrection. The world is watching. “
Trump’s vice president called on the rioters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who simply asked for their support to “stay in peace.”
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Pence said: “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
At the other end of the national mall, half an hour before the Capitol was besieged, the defeated president had painted a bleak picture. The Republicans who voted to improve the election were the Patriots, and the others were “weak” and “pathetic” allowing the Democrats to destroy the country.
Trump singled out his vice president, Mike Pence, who until Wednesday had been loyal to the extreme. “Mike Pence is going to have to pass us by, and if he doesn’t, it will be a sad day for our country,” Trump shouted from a stage that had been set up a block from the White House, during a crowd that had gathered. on the grassy Ellipse below the national monument.
As the president spoke, Pence was, for the first time, doing the opposite of what his boss had told him. He formally notified Congress that his role was ceremonial, to read the election results, not to change them.
Trump had promised his followers that he would accompany them on their walk to the Capitol, but instead drove in his caravan the hundred meters back to the White House, from where he fired a tweet in which he repudiated Pence, who, according to him , “Did not have the courage” to protect the country and the constitution.
The day had started out apparently like any other American political carnival, with glittering flags, lush costumes, and vendors selling T-shirts and hot dogs. It was only with a closer look, that something much more dystopian was at hand, with seething potential for violence.
“Fuck your feelings, Trump 2020” was the message of the best-selling shirt. Some of the flags said “Fuck Biden.” The crowd that spread across the Ellipse was a mix of families and old men, men and women, young and old. Only about one in 10 wore camouflage gear, although that was more than the percentage who wore masks.
A young couple, Kasey and Mike, were sitting under one of the ornamental cherry trees planted throughout the mall, having traveled from Rhode Island to witness the climactic day. They spoke with the dreamy smiles of two people in love, sharing a moment in history, but their message was one of imminent conflict.
“The people here are crazy. They have seen so many people destroy our country in that way. I don’t think they’re going to sit down anymore, ”Kasey said, convinced that a Biden victory would lead to a dismal socialist state.
“I think the only option left for Trump is to call for military action because he has the right to do so.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism