‘Really Terrifying Stuff’
“I’ve been reporting from the capitol for 11 years, nearly every working day. Never seen it like this.”
Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 1-pm MST
This is a developing story… Check back for updates.
Update 3:35pm – MST:
Rioters throw punches at east side of Capitol building as police stand by
Violence was evident among rioters Wednesday when, shortly after 4 p.m., a fight broke out on the east side of the Capitol building, with one man tumbling down the stairs as others threw punches.
Other protesters pulled the fight apart. It was unclear who was involved.
By this time, hundreds of people who had previously gathered in the area had fled, saying they feared injury after reports of a shooting inside the building spread through the crowd. Still, hundreds remained, mostly gathered on the steps and allowed to roam freely. Groups of police officers were convened nearby, but they stayed back from the protesters and did not interfere.
Nearby, another line of police stood across the top of the steps at the northeast front of the Capitol while a crowd filled the central steps. A few waving Trump flags stood atop the steps at the southeast front.
Nearby, the air echoed with sirens and competing megaphones. Flags flapped in the wind, images of Trump, “Stop the steal,” and the American flag was in front of the dome. A woman marched grimly through the crowd brandishing her sign: “Repent! Get ready! Jesus is coming!”
People climbed onto one of the military vehicles parked in front of the central steps, waving flags aloft. A speaker on the steps shouted through a megaphone that when people came inside, others ran out like rats.
“We run the (expletive) show,” he shouted through a megaphone to the crowd on the plaza, “because we ran in the door!”
3pm MST update: The Daily Beast reports Trump Is furious—but not at the MAGA mob that stormed the Capitol. As a mob of Trump supporters descended on and into the Capitol, the president did nothing and instead remained focused on how mad he was at Vice President Mike Pence.
2:50 pm MST update: The Washington Post reports that at 1pm rioters were using ropes and makeshift ladders to reach the north side of the Capitol — although far more simply walked around the corner and reached the building’s outer walls on foot.
“We should come visit and do tourist stuff like this all the time,” a man joked after climbing down a makeshift ladder on the north side of the Capitol.
A line of nearly two dozen Capitol Police officers stood halfway up the steps on the northeast side of the Capitol. A woman wearing a “What would Jesus do?” sandwich board read from scripture before handing the mic to someone who led a prayer for the police.
Farther south, the main set of Capitol steps was packed with dozens of people, including many in MAGA hats and a group of about a dozen Three Percenters, an anti-government group, in camouflage hats and jackets. The crowd chanted, “Fight for Trump!” Most of them were maskless.
An hour later, thousands were still massed outside the Capitol, filling the bleachers set up for Biden’s inauguration and spilling out onto the Mall. They sang the national anthem, blew shofars and horns, and chanted “U-S-A!” and “Fight for Trump!” as police lined up along the Capitol railing nearby.
Update from Karoun Demirjian and Michael Brice-Saddler at the Washington Post 1:40-pm MST —
As the standoff worsens, Republicans appeal to Trump.
As lawmakers were evacuated from the Capitol, several Republicans called on Trump to tell his supporters to end their siege.
By midafternoon Wednesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced a citywide curfew starting at 6 p.m. But when the notification hit the phones of protesters, they scoffed at it. “Guess who’s going home? None of us,” someone in the Capitol yelled. “Time to take back what’s ours,” someone else screamed. “A new 1776 has just begun.”
The U.S. Senate went into security lockdown Wednesday afternoon after pro-Trump protesters stormed the building and demanded to speak to lawmakers as other protesters scaled Capitol building walls outside and clashed with police.
“I’ve been reporting from the capitol for 11 years, nearly every working day. Never seen it like this,” tweeted NBC reporter Jake Sherman.
A similar assessment was shared by Lawfare executive editor Susan Hennessey.
PBS News Hour has live coverage of the events as they continue to unfold:
The protesters’ violence appeared to have sparked U.S. Capitol Police to evacuate two office buildings:
FLASH: Capitol Police have ordered evacuations of two Capitol campus buildings — LoC Madison Building and Cannon House Office building, both just across Independence Avenue from the Capitol.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 6, 2021
I’m sheltering in place in my office. The building next door has been evacuated. I can’t believe I have to write this.
— Rep. Haley Stevens (@RepHaleyStevens) January 6, 2021
Thousands of attendees of the so-called #StopTheSteal rally, which included a contingent of the neo-fascist group Proud Boys, were shown in mulitple news reports earlier in the day clashing with police, hurling expletives at them and knocking down police barriers.
They'd be using machine guns against BLM if they were pulling this, on the Capitol steps, with a joint session in progress https://t.co/6TEwFfvqWH
— David Burbach (@dburbach) January 6, 2021
President Donald Trump—who continues to refuse to concede the election—addressed the “MAGA” throngs earlier in the day, telling the crowd, “We will never concede.”
“This year, they rigged an election,” he said baselessly. “They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.”
Earlier at the rally, NPR reported:
A huge contingent of Proud Boys marched in, some chanting “storm the Capitol” and “1776!” and massed for the Capitol building. For many in the crowd, it was inconceivable that Congress would certify the November vote, as it’s expected to. Echoing the president’s words, they pledged to fight, some calling for a rebellion and others vowing to refocus energy on the 2024 race.
“And they made it clear,” NPR added, “that Republicans who didn’t back Trump would pay a price.”
Video of Capitol breakin. Trump protesters are demanding to see senators pic.twitter.com/w7jTNYAedd
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) January 6, 2021
Wow, they just cut off the Senate debate to evacuate everyone. An aide picked up on a mic says, "Protesters are in the building."
— Daniel Marans (@danielmarans) January 6, 2021
This is really terrifying stuff. There are sirens absolutely everywhere right now. People hurrying to get inside.
This is our home. Our children are here. I am beyond furious. Republicans who stood by in silence for four years, you own this. https://t.co/PwA1LsFhg5
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 6, 2021
This article published by Common Dreams on January 6, 2021, here…
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