Coup at the Capitol

Pro-Trump rally turned deadly riot


Photo Submitted

Abigail Lisanti in the middle of peaceful protests that took place on Jan. 6 in Washington D.C.

On Jan. 6, the ground in Washington D.C. began to shake with the gathering of thousands of President Donald Trump’s loyal supporters. Before the events took place, Trump supporters were peacefully protesting within the streets of D.C. while the government was counting the votes to confirm who won the 2020 presidential election that took place in November. Trump took to Twitter to share his feelings on the results of the vote certification recount, which was in favor of Joe Biden. Trump  told his supporters to meet outside of the Capitol. Videos online showed the masses singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and other patriotic songs in support of their country.

In the afternoon, things started to go south. Still angered about the results of the election, Trump’s supporters began to retaliate. Many people began to scale the lower wall of the building, heading up the steps and breaching the Capitol. A lot of property damage occurred to the inside of the building. Several photos of men and women posing with statues, holding paintings and destroying the interior of the Capitol building have surfaced on the internet. One man was seen lounging at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk and has been charged for his actions. Many United States citizens are now concerned about how easy it was to breach security and get past all officers stationed at the Capitol.

“This was not a protest and it was not peaceful. this should never have happened, we are in the midst of a pandemic and people are losing or fighting for their lives. people are dying, and gathering up and rallying with no masks and no guidelines followed is terrible. this will prolong the end of this, and it will kill others.” junior Alexis Rinere said. 

Police officers took to order and began to protect the Capitol. However, many people were upset with the actions that the police officers took, by comparing what they did during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests to what they did when white people stormed the building. Many said that what the officers did that day was child’s play compared to what happened during the BLM protests. 

“I think it was a blatant act of terrorism, nothing about it was peaceful. The differing aspects between the BLM protests and this domestic terrorist attack is a real issue and really shows the true definition of white privilege in America,” sophomore Ana Shipman said. 

Amidst all the chaos, five deaths occurred. One woman was shot by a police officer for breaching security. Three others suffered medical emergencies and passed away. Additionally, one of the U.S. Capitol police officers died due to injuries from being on-duty. 

Junior Abigail Lisanti traveled to D.C that morning to attend the protests. While there, she was able to see just exactly what was going on. 

“When I first got there is was honestly breath taking seeing the crowd it was packed like a can of sardines. Every single person I met though were the nicest. Some guy even stopped me and my sister to take a picture of our pit vipers because he loved them so much. After Trump’s speech I was walking towards the capitol to get back on the train and I saw a huge group of people in black running towards the capital. They did not look like a single person who I had just been standing in the crowd with though. And from what I saw they were the ones being destructive not most of the supporters there were. But overall the experience was amazing,” Lisanti said.

Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and one of their lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, could be investigated over their roles involving the riots. They would be investigated on their alleged instigation and encouragement of the gathering.

After the United States had time to cool down, many people started to take precautions to ensure that nothing like this would ever happen again. To combat such attacks, social media apps like Twitter, which he is permanently banned on, Facebook and Instagram temporarily banned President Donald Trump. On the other hand, some of Trump’s supporters thought his freedom of speech and other rights were infringed upon. He did make a statement the next day about what went on at the Capitol.

Another rising concern was about all of the participants who did not wear masks. With the amount of COVID-19 cases still on the rise, this became another issue that caused some controversy. 

Yet, the biggest concern of all remains the clear division of the United States citizens. Whichever side taken, there are many issues that need to be overcome to reunite this country.