At least four people were killed and scores were arrested after supporters of outgoing US President Donald Trump breached the Capitol last night to stop the electoral vote count that would certify the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.
The protestors pushed through barriers and occupied the building for hours, where lawmakers had gathered to certify that Joe Biden had won the election. Lawmakers were evacuated from the building by the police following the chaos that, reports say, was a result of a speech by Trump calling the election stolen.
In hours-long episode of violence, there were clashes between the protesters and the police officers and the police were called “traitors” as well. A BBC report described the scene at the Capitol as Trump loyalists waving placards with “show us the ballots” inscribed on them. “All we want is for the Capitol police to stand down, and surrender the building to us,” it quoted a Trump supporter.
Rioters were seen marching through the building chanting “We want Trump” and one was photographed in the Senate president’s chair, as per a BBC report. Reports said there was an armed confrontation at the doors of the House of Representatives.
CBS News reported that one woman was shot and killed by police after breaching the Capitol and attempting to enter the House chamber. “Three others died as a result of medical emergencies,” it quoted the Metropolitan Police Department.
In order to quell the unrest, the US authorities had called in troops from neighbouring states, Maryland and Virginia in addition to the National Guard. However, it took them hours to secure the Capitol. The US media reported 52 arrests: four related to weapons charges after the recovery of six firearms.
“Two pipe bombs, one near the Republican National Committee and one near the Democratic National Committee, were also recovered, along with a cooler filled with Molotov cocktails,” the media outlet reported.
TRUMP BLOCKED ON TWITTER:
Meanwhile, Trump has been blocked on Twitter and Facebook for 12 and 24 hours for instigating violence as he called upon his supporters to go home while still calling the election “stolen”. “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt,” he said. “You have to go home now, we have to have peace… we don’t want anybody hurt.”
President-elect Joe Biden, however, said the demonstration “borders on sedition and it must end now”. “At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault,” he reacted to the news of the assault on the Capitol. While another lawmaker said it was a ‘coup’ attempt.