Protesters supporting US President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol where the lawmakers were engaged in the process to certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Riot police used flash-bang and tear gas to disperse the mob from Capitol Hill as the lawmakers were preparing to reconvene at 8 pm.
It took 159 years, but a mob marching behind a confederate flag has stormed the US Capitol. They are doing so on @realDonaldTrump’s express orders. pic.twitter.com/Q9MnbT0emZ — Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) January 6, 2021
A woman was shot during the confrontations and taken to hospital in critical conditions, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Trump’s Twitter and Facebook posts have been blocked by the social media giants.
The president deployed the National Guard to handle the protests. Trump also released a video, telling protesters to “go home,” adding that the election had been “stolen.”
‘Assault on citadel of liberty’
Lawmakers in the building were told to shelter inside their offices as an armed standoff was taking place at the House front door.
“What we’re seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder, it’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end, now,” Biden said from the Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware. “I call on this mob to pull back now and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
The future president further called the protests “an assault on the rule of law.”
“At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times, an assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself; an assault on the people’s representatives, the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them; the public servants who work at the heart of our republic; an assault on the rule of law like few times we’ve ever seen it,” Biden said.
Trump earlier urged his supporters to “stay peaceful” as they flooded to the Capitol Wednesday afternoon.
“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!” Trump tweeted.
The doors of the House chamber were locked for safety purposes as the protesters entered the building with reports that an improvised explosive device had been found on the grounds of the Capitol.
Vice President Pence was taken from the Senate chamber for safety after he refused to back Trump’s attempts to overturn the November vote results.
Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2021
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) had to order a 6 pm curfew to control the situation.
“Today, I’m ordering a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6, until 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 7,” wrote Bowser. “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 spaces within the District.”
Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK — Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021
“As we speak, the eyes of the world are on this chamber questioning whether America is still the shining example of democracy, the shining city on the hill. What message will we send today to our people, to the world that has so looked up to us for centuries?” asked Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.