Chaos erupted in the United States Capital, Washington DC, on Wednesday after Trump-inspired protests escalated to the point where his supporters stormed the Capitol building. They were seen in the building demanding that lawmakers overturn the 2020 election results in favour of outgoing President, Donald Trump.
Following a speech made by the President earlier, the Capitol descended into mayhem, with Trump still refusing to concede that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump repeatedly encouraged his supporters to come to the Capitol on January 6, the day when the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled to certify the results of the Electoral College.
“Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 20. “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Thousands turned out to hear the Presidents speech, where he encouraged them to march on the Capitol and pressure Congress to reject the results.
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and Congressmen and women,” Trump told the crowd, according to Reuters.
Video footage emerged on social media of protestors clashing with police as they stand guard outside of Congress. Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi are among those who have been rushed out of the building in astonishing scenes.
The Washington protests led to the Trump loyalists occupying the House and Senate while police instructed lawmakers to lie on the ground and wear gas masks.
“We will never give up, we will never concede,” Trump said, delighting the crowd by calling Democratic victories the product of what he called “explosions of bullshit.”
“Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!” people chanted in reply, before the unprecedented mayhem, that is being considered a threat to American democracy, ensued.
This is not a peaceful protest. What we are witnessing is an attack on the Constitution. What we are witnessing is an attack on America.
— Joe Buscaino (@JoeBuscaino) January 6, 2021
The DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser, decided to impose a curfew for the city, tweeting “Today, Mayor Bowser ordered a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 6:00PM on Wednesday, January 6, until 6:00am on Thursday, January 7.
“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 modes of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public places within the District.”
“The curfew imposed by the Mayor’s Order shall not apply to essential workers, including working media with their outlet-issued credentials, when engaged in essential functions, including travel to and from their essential work.”
The National Guard was also brought in as Trump supporters banged on the doors windows of Congress, forcing the building to go into lockdown. Trump, himself, then sent out a video on Twitter, urging his supporters to go home.
“I know your pain, I know you’re hurting. Trump said in a video addressed to his supporters at the Washington protests, according to The Express. “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide and everyone knows it. 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. We don’t want anyone hurt, it’s a very tough time.”
He proceeded to make further claims about the presence of voter fraud in the elections, before tweeting out his pleas for non-violence. Fortunately, the Capitol has very strict gun laws that police have strictly enforced.
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
Sadly, the police have confirmed that four people were fatally wounded during a confrontation, with one woman losing her life.
“One capitol police officer discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female,” DC Police Chief Robert Contee said. “She was transported to a local hospital where after all life-saving efforts failed, she was pronounced deceased.” Mr Contee added “this is a tragic incident”, and expressed his “condolences”.