n 6TH of January 2021, the entire United States was appalled when the crowd of thousands of Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol where the 117th sessions of the congress were held. The mob vandalized, attacked police officers, and looted the Capitol building.
While this attack was going on there were congressmen inside the Capitol building who later had to be evacuated and sent to safer places. This attack was one of the rarest moments in the democratic history of the United States, where such a government building had been attacked.
From the day results were declared the trump and his supporters have been very skeptical to accept the decision and claimed that the election was rigged and these entire hoaxes and myths finally culminated in the attack on the Capitol. It was not a sudden attack as it might appear, but its seeds had been sown for quite some time.
This attack received domestic as well as international condemnation, most Republicans and democrats targeted Trump for his provocative speech before the election results. The prime minister of the UK tweeted “disgraceful scenes at US congress” the former Swedish prime minister referred to it as “insurrection and nothing less”. Donald Trump and his supporters received a lot of backlash for the attack at the Capitol.
Planning execution and funding
Immediately after the results were declared the Trump camp started to question the authenticity of the elections and claimed that the election was rigged. Donald Trump had previously said that if he didn’t win he would question the authenticity of the elections while his win would mean that elections are fair. So when Donald Trump lost the elections he straightaway claimed that there has been huge malpractices and rigging of the election.
Trump camp claimed that Illegal immigrants, ballot theft, partial counting were few such reasons due to which he lost the elections.
After few days of voting, a huge rally was organized by the various right-wing groups who were staunch supporters of Donald Trump. While the counting was done in few states and he was losing in many more he ordered all his supporters to be present on 6 th January for the US congressional vote count.
When the results were declared and Biden was declared trump demanded multiple recounts in various states and when he couldn’t find a way he declared that the huge rigging of the election has taken place. even before the rally various Republicans including some Far-right activists decided to plan big which include some big names like Andy Bigg, paul Gogar and alexander Ali. Donald Trump even came up with the slogan ” stop the steal’ when he appeared to be losing. But if we dig up the history a bit we would observe that this isn’t the first time where a republican candidate has accused the democrats of voter fraud something very similar had happened before.
In 2001 the republican national committee aligned itself with the comments of then-president George W Bush who said that every citizen’s vote should be counted once fairly and equally. So this is a deep-rooted issue within the Republican Party, which has always claimed voter fraud and elections not been conducted properly unless they state winning. Many on the right along with Donald trump claimed that thousand of voters in different states had cast their vote more than once and even cast their votes in multiple states. Before the main rally which turned into a mob attack on the Capitol, there were many rallies during that period. Between the 5-7 January.
The save America rally, the silent majority rally, and a few more were conducted across the US most of whom were organized by right-wing groups. Many supporters of Donald Trump even before the attack had suggested that they should go into the Capitol.
Many right-wing groups including QANON, Christian Dominionists, MAGA people who are hardcore supporters of Donald Trump, and Neo-Nazis are seemed to get wound together. When the attack on the Capitol took place it was led by many prominent white supremacists. Before the Capitol breach, the march sated from Pennsylvania and it was led by another Far-right group called “Proud Boys”.
This group came into the limelight when trump was told to condemn the right-wing violence during the election campaigning and he mentioned this group during his debate. By the afternoon the member of the rally started to enter the Capitol premises and started to move closer to the main building where they clashed with the police officers.
There were Nazi flags and slogans along with confederate symbols. Slogan and poster-like “Jesus save America” and white supremacist slogan and swastikas everywhere. Many protesters had police links and some were even veterans from the military services.
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The protesters then forced themselves into the capitol by mid-afternoon when they broke the glasses, destroyed anything that came in their way, all this being done while the session of congress was going. Many congressmen were being escorted by the security along with the speaker Pelosi while some stayed in the Capitol. There were also gunshots heard during the scuffle between the Mob and the Police officers. a large part of this mob was evangelical Christian and some even from the many workers union.
When the situation went out of control the Capitol police chief Steven Sund later sought the help of Metropolitan police and National guards. It took close to three hours to clear the Capitol with multiple units of Police using tear gas, canon, and dozens of injuries on both sides. Later when the investigation took place it was estimated that close to 10000 people had been present in the Dc for the rally and mostly had come from the republican states such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi. When the rioter was pushed back and was arrested then the situation looked under control but it was not until they had done huge damage to the capitol building.
The office of the Speaker Nancy Pelosi was damaged extensively and many items were stolen. The damages could be in millions and once more and more detailed inquiry is conducted by agencies more information will come but as of now, it is estimated that close to 40 Million worth of damage has been done to the Capitol building. In Total, 5 people were killed including one police officer and around 250 arrests have been made. This attack poses a far bigger threat to the security agencies as many laptops and electronic devices were stolen from the Capitol as well.
• When the mob was breaking into the Capitol, Trump was in the White House while weeks before that he was planning and preparing the rally under the ” Save America” banner.
This attack on the Capitol should not have come as a surprise as the Right-wing group, as well as many white nationalists, has been presenting the idea of using violence as a measure to overthrow an elected government. Radio presenter, TV anchors also took place in framing this narrative of rigged elected. Even after recounts in many states like Georgia, Pennsylvania trump and his supporters were convinced that some fraud had taken place during the election. After this, there was another campaign to impeach trump and to suspend those police officers who were involved in helping the protesters and rioters to get into the Capitol. On 11 January both Republicans and Democrats presented the impeachment article in front of the house but on February 13 trump wasn’t impeached as the opposition failed to get the two-thirds majority and fells short by 10 votes. After this attack, the security around Washington DC was increased and many states were put on alert. The weird part was that Trump later blamed left-wing groups like ANTIFA for the Capitol riot and denied that his supporters or any Right-wing group were involved. Later to avoid as more violence many social media networks such as Twitter suspended many accounts which were used by the extremist group such as proud boys as Well as Donald trump’s.
FBI and police have launched an investigation and more arrests are expected. Most people face charges that could send them to prison for anywhere from 1-20 years, but their trials could be delayed for months as the federal court system labors under the coronavirus pandemic. An assistant U.S. attorney said in court last week that no plea offers have been made yet.
Dozens of other rioters have been identified, after admitting to being in the Capitol on social media or in interviews with journalists, but haven’t been arrested yet. This ambush of Capitol could have been avoided as it was very clear from early December that groups were planning to discuss violence against the government as well as police until results were not in favor of Trump. Over 300000 USD was raised by an organization like Moms for America, Tea Party patriots. It was evident that the march toward Capitol could turn violent and this match could have been stopped by putting more boots on the ground.
This attack should serve as a reminder that extremist groups should always be kept under check and the basic democratic institutions should be protected.
Author can be reached at Jibranmalik058@gmail.com