Thousands of Trump supporters stormed Capitol Hill to stop the House’s electoral vote count.
At 12pm (Washington time) , this Wednesday, Trump gave a speech at one of his famous rallies, at the White House. After only a few days of breaking the record for daily Covid deaths, Trump’s campaign was granted a rally permit for up to 30,000 attendees. During the speech, Trump continued his allegations of election fraud – as he has been doing since the November election results determined Biden to be the next U.S. President, telling his followers that “we can’t back down.”
A couple of hours later, shortly after Trump’s speech, the House of Representatives was in the process of certifying the election, MAGA supporters stormed into Capitol Hill, confronting local law enforcement and capitol police. House members were immediately placed on lockdown before being evacuated from the premises, when protesters broke into the Capitol chambers.
Members of the Trump supporting group ‘The Proud Boys’ were present and shouting “Whose Capitol? Our Capitol!”
During the confrontation, inside Capitol grounds, a woman from the insurgent crowd was shot in the neck and died. Who took the shot is still unclear, though one witness alleges it was police from inside the Capitol.
Trump had sent out two tweets asking his supporters to “stay peaceful”, before posting a video, where he once again claimed that the election was rigged, showed understanding for his supporter’s rage, affectionately declared one “we love you” to the rioters, but urged them to “go home, peacefully”. Twitter sanctioned Trump’s tweet due to the risk of instigating violence. The tweet was deleted and as of 4:30pm (Washington time), Trump’s Twitter account has been blocked for 12 hours and risks being permanently banned if deemed to be promoting violence.
1100 national guard members have been actioned and are clearing the House and Senate, including a major sweep for explosives. Lawmakers and Representatives have agreed that the election certification will resume as soon as Capitol Hill has been cleared and are expected to finalise the process as soon as possible.
President-elect Joe Biden called the event an attack and a riot on democracy and said that “At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, incite.”