On Wednesday, January 6, hundreds of Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol building, where Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Rioters broke through the West Front of the Capitol building and made their way towards the Senate chamber, causing the Senators to be evacuated. Then, the protesters waved flags through the Statuary Hall and attempted to enter the House Chamber.
In advance of the riots, Trump encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol to “take back the country,” citing the “stolen election.” He and other Republicans have perpetuated the narrative that there was widespread election fraud since Biden was announced to have won. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have temporarily suspended Donald Trump’s accounts to prevent him from provoking further violence.
Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, D.C., put a 6:00 p.m. curfew into place to try to stop the rioters. Police were brought in from Maryland and Virginia to help the D.C. police. Four people were killed in the riots. One was shot and three others died from separate medical emergencies. Capitol police made 14 arrests. D.C. police reported 68. Officers later found weapons, pipe bombs and molotov cocktails at the scene.
Instead of using our second period exam session to finish the digital magazine we are working on, The Pirates’ Hook staff took some time to process our own thoughts about what happened.
We noticed that it felt too easy for these rioters to breach the Capitol building. Police appeared unprepared and seemed to use limited force. There is an uncomfortable contrast with the way we watched law enforcement interact with Black civilians protesting police brutality this past year. These two groups are incomparable – one peacefully protested physical violence while the other used physical violence in an attempt to overturn the results of a fair election – and the way that law enforcement engaged with the two appears backwards.
We wonder how the rioters got into the Capitol building so easily and why the police appeared reluctant to use force. Will this make any Republicans change their stance on the election or their opinion of Trump? Many lawmakers who have condemned the violence supported Trump’s behavior and even contributed to the false narrative on election fraud that incited the insurrection.
Most importantly, we want Hook readers to know that what happened is appalling. People who spread inaccurate information about the election and voter fraud do not deserve their office or to be called leaders of the American government. These rioters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for the destruction and violence they caused, as should the people who incited their actions.
Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons