Right Wing Insurgents Storm the Capitol

Marian Steinmann, Staff Writer

Jaws dropped and eyes bulged as citizens watched protestors gather outside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The shock escalated when the peaceful protestors became rioters as they scaled the building and broke windows.

“I never really thought I would see something like that in the U.S.,” senior Myles Jefferson said.

The attempted coup began in the early afternoon of Jan. 6 as a group of President Trump’s supporters congregated outside of the capitol building to protest the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that would secure Biden’s win.

Trump spurred his followers to action the night before via Twitter, writing “…you’ll never take our country back with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”

His supporters followed his advice by breaking into the capitol before the counting began. Violence broke out and one woman was shot. She later died from her wounds.

Many Americans were outraged by the police response to the riot. A video of an officer gently escorting a rioter down the steps went viral on Instagram, and people began to highlight the differences between this crowd’s treatment and how police handled Black Lives Matter groups earlier this year.

“I think that they tried and did their best, but they weren’t prepared,” sophomore Jess Loyet said. “And they definitely didn’t’ treat rioters the same way they treated BLM protestors.”

Multiple photos of rioters inside the capitol building went viral as well, including rioters sitting in private offices, stealing the podium from the senate floor and leaving threatening messages on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk.

In an effort to prevent further violence, Twitter permanently banned Trump from the site, and almost every other social media site followed its lead, including Instagram, Youtube and Reddit.

After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement on Jan. 8.

Trump supporters labeled the action as censorship, but Twitter stated that Trump violated its policy about glorifying violence, therefore triggering his removal.

“I think honestly his Twitter was dangerous,” senior Kate Hengehold said. “He was spreading false information and riling people up.”

Despite efforts by Twitter and other sites, rumors of more violence leading up to President-elect Biden’s inauguration have arisen. The FBI received reports that protests are scheduled to occur in the capital of each of the 50 states, according to CNN.

In the meantime, the FBI continues to identify and track down last week’s rioters. Several arrests have already been made, the suspects being charged with federal crimes. In an effort to remain neutral, the FBI made a statement about its motivations:

“…efforts are focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity… [the] focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”