Rioters occupy Capitol Hill in an attempt to subvert democracy

Sean Kleinman Sishc, Staff Reporter

It can happen here. On Jan. 6, while dozens of members of Congress sat in session actively attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election–or at the very least making visible an attempt to do so for the purpose of accruing future political capital–protestors stormed the United States Capitol, several of them armed, disrupting an already disgusting attempt by their elected officials to subvert the voice of the population.

It can happen here. Donald Trump throughout the day and through the weeks prior to the storming of the capitol, falsely claimed that the election was illegitimate and that he had secured the consent of the populace to once again rule over them. The only reaction to this claim, if it were true, would have been revolution. If it were true that the popular will of the people had been subverted by a disinterested and self-motivated political class, then it is the right of the disenfranchised population to grant themselves the right to rule. But the story that Trump told his supporters was a fabrication and nothing but. It can be seen as nothing but incitement of violence by a delusional and dangerous narcissist who is excruciatingly aware of his loosening grip on power. A woman was shot and killed while attempting to help him maintain it. Her tragedy was needless, and her blood, as well as the blood of so many others, is on his hands. 

It can happen here. As protestors reached the Capitol, they were met with virtually no resistance compared to the revolting brutality that rightful demonstrators were met with last summer. The actions of the National Guard, DC Police, and other law enforcement organizations in the area have not only proven that those who we entrust to protect and serve have no qualms about drawing blood from their fellow citizens, but that they have the means, authority, and determination to do so with impunity. If they do not want protestors to reach the Capitol, they will not reach the Capitol. And yet, several members of the mob found themselves inside the rotunda, inside the offices of legislators, and inside the chambers of Congress. The National Guard, whose presence was approved two days before the riot, were nowhere to be seen. It took several hours of mayhem before police arrived with the numbers to quell the uprising, as though they had no warning of the intentions of the crowd. Several videos have emerged of police opening barricades to allow protesters onto the steps of the Capitol, and several more depict police inside the building taking selfies with the seditionists. These same officers were judged by many as simply doing what was necessary when bludgeoning and gassing citizens filled with rightful and righteous anger took to the streets following the murder of George Floyd and countless other African Americans. Police issues are not isolated incidences of individual bad actors. The system must be examined, interrogated, and where necessary, dismantled. No voter has ever cast a ballot which gives police the authority to decide on a whim which political movements they suppress and which they reluctantly and temporarily resist before capitulation, yet they routinely wield it.

It can happen here. A noose was found hanging from an erected wooden structure on the grounds occupied by the rioters. Mannequins with the knot fixed around their throat were paraded through the crowd as well. Several confederate battle flags–often erroneously called the confederate flag or flag of the Confederate States of America by people who claim to fly it as a symbol of their history and yet do not understand that very subject–were seen in the crowd and inside the building. These symbols are a statement. It is a statement about who is welcome in Trump’s America and who is not. It is a statement about what they are willing to do to those who are not. There is no more “both sides,” to this issue. The leadership of the Republican party, and those who commit violence on their behalf, whether they be the police, rioters, violent bigots, or all three, must be unilaterally condemned. At every level they have attempted to subvert democracy to institute their racist ideals.  

It can happen here.