The aftermath of the Capitol riot

It was not a sudden attack as it appeared initially; its seeds were sown way before

On the 6th of January 2021, the entire United States was appalled when the crowd of thousands of Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol where the 117th session of the congress was being held. The mob vandalized, attacked police officers, and looted the Capitol building mean While this attack was going on there were congressmen inside the Capitol building who later had to be evacuated and sent to safer places.

This attack was one of the rarest moments in the democratic history of the United States, where such a government institution had been attacked. The day results of the election were declared the trump and his supporters had been very skeptical to accept the decision and claimed that the election was rigged and these hoaxes and myths finally culminated in the attack on the Capitol. It was not a sudden attack as it appeared initially but its seeds had been sown for quite some time. This attack received domestic as well as international condemnation, most Republicans and democrats targeted Trump for his provocative speech before the election results. The prime minister of the UK tweeted “disgraceful scenes at US congress” the former Swedish prime minister referred to it as “insurrection and nothing less”.

When Donald Trump lost the election he straightaway claimed that there has been huge malpractices and rigging of the election. Trump camp claimed that Illegal immigrants, ballot theft, partial counting were a few such reasons due to which he lost the elections. After a few days of voting, a huge rally was organized by the various right-wing groups who were staunch supporters of Donald Trump. While the counting was done in a few states and he was losing in many more he ordered all his supporters to be present on 6th January for the US congressional vote count. When the results came out and Biden was declared the winner Trump demanded multiple recounts in various states and when he couldn’t find a way he declared resulted as erroneous. Even before the rally, various Republicans including some Far-right activists and White Supremacists decided to plan big which include some big names like Andy Bigg, Paul Gogar, and Alexander Ali. Donald Trump even came up with the slogan “ stop the steal’ when he appeared to be losing. But if we dig up the history a bit we would observe that this isn’t the first time where a republican candidate has accused the democrats of voter fraud something very similar had happened before. In 2001 the Republican National Committee (RNC) aligned itself with the comments of then-President George W Bush who said that every citizen’s vote should be counted once fairly and equally. So this is a deep-rooted issue within the Republican Party, which has always claimed voter fraud and elections not been conducted properly unless they start winning. Many on the right along with Donald Trump made up stories that thousand of voters in different states had cast their vote more than once and even cast their votes in multiple states and eventually this was also proven to be wrong. Before the main rally which turned into a mob attack on the Capitol, there were many rallies during that period. Between the 5-7 January. The Save America rally, the Silent Majority rally, and a few more were conducted across the US most of whom were organized by right-wing groups. Many supporters of Donald Trump even before the attack had suggested that they should barge into the Capitol.

Many right-wing groups including QANON, Christian Dominionists, MAGA people who are staunch supporters of Donald Trump, and Neo-Nazis got together to act. Before the Capitol breach, the march started from Pennsylvania and it was led by another Far-right group called “Proud Boys”. This group came into the limelight when trump was told to condemn the right-wing violence during the election campaigning and he mentioned this group during his debate. By the afternoon the member of the rally started to enter the Capitol premises and started to move closer to the main building where they clashed with the police officers. There were Nazi flags and slogans along with confederate symbols. Slogan and poster-like “Jesus save America” and white supremacist slogan and swastikas everywhere. Many protesters had police links and some were even veterans from the military services.

The protesters then forced themselves into the Capitol by mid-afternoon when they broke the glasses, destroyed anything that came in their way, all this being done while the session of congress was going. Many congressmen were being escorted by the security along with the speaker Nancy Pelosi while some stayed in the Capitol. There were also gunshots heard during the scuffle between the Mob and the Police officers. A large part of this mob was Evangelical Christian and some even came from the many workers union. When the situation went out of control the Capitol police chief Steven Sund later sought the help of Metropolitan police and National Guards. It took close to three hours to clear the Capitol with multiple units of Police using tear gas, canon, and dozens of injuries on both sides. Later when the investigation took place it was estimated that close to 10000 people had been present in the DC for the rally and mostly had come from the Republican states such as Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi. When the rioter was pushed back and was arrested then the situation looked under control but it was not until they had done huge damage to the capitol building. The office of the Speaker Nancy Pelosi was damaged extensively and many items were stolen. The damages were in millions and as more and more detailed inquiries came out close to 40 Million worth of damage had been done to the Capitol building. In Total, 5 people were killed including one police officer and around 250 arrests have been made in the initial few weeks but these arrests continued even after months, and police and other federal agencies started hunting down these people many through social media. This attack poses a far bigger threat to the security agencies as many laptops and electronic devices were stolen from the Capitol as well.

It has been over 10 months and some people are still being investigated and charged under respective laws. Initially, it took police and other government agencies to nap all the rioters but as things progressed we had more and more arrests. Many prominent people came in support of these rioters who stormed the capitol building including Donald Trump as tried to give these rioters a free pass. Trump himself incited this violence and there is overwhelming evidence that came after investigating agencies found Trump’s close associate being part of this process. Steve Bannon the chief strategist during the Trump era was recently indicted over the Capitol riot and it is believed that many more close allies of trump were involved in the attack on the Capitol. Over this period many police officers were also suspended who helped the rioters along with over 2000 people who have been arrested and charged so far. This attack on such a powerful institution shows how trump has changed the dynamics of US politics and what it could lead up to.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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