Saturday, January 28

The open wounds of the assault on the Capitol, an insurrection in the age of Instagram

Correspondent in Washington



Nothing in the Capitol It has been the same since January 6, 2021. It is not just the indelible memory of an unbridled mob smashing doors and glass, mercilessly beating police officers, building bonfires, building gallows, and angrily demanding the execution of treacherous Republicans who refused. to perpetuate Donald Trump in the power.

It is something deeper and more lasting. At the gates of the House of Representatives, the seat of popular power, there are today five metal detectors, which are there in case a deputy happens to bring a weapon to use against another who thinks or acts differently. That degree of animosity has been reached in the Capitol, after the death throes

of the Trump presidency, with a deeply divided caucus that often only agrees to hate each other.

Some of the glass that the mob broke at the entrance to the Capitol lasted for months. For a long time everyone who passed by – legislators, assistants, journalists, policemen – treated those corridors and roundabouts as if they were the scene of a crime yet to be solved, in need of every evidence and every detail. The evidence, however, was all in the social networks. That of the Capitol was an insurrection broadcast with selfies and direct from Instagram, which have facilitated the arrests to the FBI and to the judges the sentences.

A man with a Confederate flag, in the halls of the Capitol during the assault
A man with a Confederate flag, in the halls of the Capitol during the assault – Afp

Recently, the Democratic deputy Pramila Jayapal, one of the leaders of the new American left, went through the arch and raised the alarms, because at 56 years old she wears a knee replacement. “It’s uncomfortable, but I’d rather they be here if it’s the price we have to pay to stay alive,” she said when asked about the detectors.

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It is the position of many Democrats who are convinced that other deputies, from the Trumpist wing of the Republican Party, they coordinated with the assailants to give them coordinates and facilitate the looting.

Increase in threats

Compared to the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the Lower House, it was never a haven of peace, but the anger has reached previously unimaginable heights. Democrats, who have a slim majority, have expelled two Republicans –Marjorie Taylor Greene Y Paul Gossar– of various commissions for their threats and falsehoods on social networks. And the Republicans themselves are at odds with each other, between the Trumpist wing that continues to maintain that Biden did not win the election and the moderates led by Liz Cheney who voted in favor of recusing him in his last impeachment trial.

Threats also come from outside. This same week the Capitol Police revealed that in all of 2021, deputies, senators and the Capitol itself received 9,600 threats, which are being investigated. In 2017, the year Trump came to power, less than half, 4,000 threats were received. And the Capitol police are at a minimum after that violent assault, and subsequent deaths. Yes, officers who bravely stood up to the mob have been decorated as heroes, but there have been more than a hundred resignations, many after long depression losses.

This same January 5, the nine chief of the Capitol Police, Thomas Manger, testified before a commission to ask for more resources and support to this police force of only 1800 agents. As he said, before the deputies: “The physical damage suffered that day may be cured, but the emotional and psychological trauma will not disappear so easily.”

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