On January 6, 2021, American rioters stormed the Capitol building during the ratification of the newly elected president of the United States, Joe Biden. This was the first time in all of American history that citizens have used violence because they were angered by the results of a presidential election. Trump supporters gathered around a stage just outside the White House where the President was holding a rally. Trump told the crowd that the election was rigged, stolen from them, and that they had to march down to the Capitol to “peacefully support,” the “weak,” congressmen and women so they would ratify the new president. This was their claim that the election was fraudulent. No evidence has been found to support that theory, in fact, experts say that this was one of the least fraudulent elections in history.
At 1 o’clock they marched down to Capitol Hill where other protesters and rioters had already gathered. However, many were not peaceful. For over an hour, rioters attempted to break through the police barrier outside the Capitol. They broke down doors and windows and overwhelmed the final layer of police protection around 2:14 PM. The rioters vastly outnumbered the police and security in most places as well. Some carried weapons, guns, blunt objects, and even tasers. One person even threatened to shoot a police officer with his gun. Others chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” and some declared him a traitor because he would not call a recall election. At the end of the day, 1 person was killed, with that total eventually rising to five. Many were also injured. Rioters stole portraits, documents from congressmen’s desks, and even the podium from the House Chamber. The entire onslaught was recorded and posted on social media and YouTube by the rioters.
Senators and representatives were told to take off their pins so they would be less identifiable. They hid in fear anywhere they could. At one point Mike Pence and his family were hiding less than 100 feet from rioters. The attack lasted more than four hours before the Capitol was declared “secure.” The National Guard finally got the last of the rioters out at around 5 o’clock PM.
In the days and weeks following the attack, impeachment charges were brought against President Trump. He was then impeached by the House, and acquitted by the Senate on the charge of an "Incitement of Insurrection." Some American's are surprised and shocked by the events. One woman even said she was, “Saddened, hurt, and disgusted,” by the riot. This is the only time in our history that Americans tried to overthrow a Federal election result because they were unhappy with the outcome. They claimed that the election was fraudulent, however, the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee and Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council says this “election was the most secure in American history.” This event will leave a mark on American history forever.
Bo Miller, Managing Editor