Pro-Trump extremists break into Capitol Hill

In response to a rally led by President Donald Trump, violent Trump supporters break into the US Capitol preventing the Electoral College certification


Blink O'Fanaye

Pro-Trump rioters break into Capitol Hill, destroying and looting the property during the Electoral College Certification Wednesday, January 6.

Becky Arendarczyk, Artistic Director

A large pro-Trump mob pushed their way into the United States Capitol on Wednesday, stopping the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and putting the building into a lockdown lasting several hours.

Following a rally led by President Donald Trump, during which he spread the false claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and encouraged protestors to march to the Capitol, a violent group of Trump supporters broke into Capitol Hill, looting the building, taking selfies, and causing mass destruction. A woman who was shot during the break in was reported dead yesterday evening. Police from several states were sent to re-secure Capitol Hill along with the National Guard.

Following the initial break in, President-elect Joe Biden called the violent riot “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business.” Later in his speech he called on Trump to address these protests and call for peace.

Shortly after Biden spoke on national television, following two tweets encouraging peace at the Capitol, Trump responded with a short video that he posted on Twitter.

In his video, Trump stated, “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.” Following this statement he restates his opinion that the election was completely fraudulent, then Trump ends the video with, “So go home. We love you, you’re very special.”

This video, along with several of Trump’s tweets later were taken down from various social media platforms including Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Twitter also proceeded to lock his account, making him unable to tweet and viewers less able to interact with his posts. These posts were taken down, according to the platforms, for misinformation and/or encouraging violence at Capitol Hill.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser put a citywide curfew into place that began at 6 p.m. Wednesday that ended 6 a.m. on Thursday. “During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District.”

Following the Mayor’s statement, police officers and the National Guard were able to re-secure Capitol Hill. After a period of clean up, the Electoral College Certification was able to proceed as normal. Though several Republication senators and representatives vowed to object to the certification, citing unsubstantiated voting irregularities in several swing states, many walked back their rejections in the wake of the mob’s attack on the Capitol.

Former President Barack Obama released a statement following the Capitol Hill chaos. referring Wednesday as, “a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation.” Obama then commented on the political climate America finds itself in, commending Republican members of the President’s party for speaking up “forcefully” stating that “We need more leaders like these – right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”